Do DUIs Spike During the Holidays?

group of friends and family gathered around table drinking wine

You may notice that there seem to be more DUI arrests and accidents around certain holidays. But do more DUIs occur on holidays? Why do DUI rates seem to spike? And what can you do to protect yourself from being involved in a drunk driving accident?

Drunk Driving Increases Over the Holidays

Statistics show that incidents of drunk driving increase around certain holidays, including the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the week stretching from Christmas to New Year’s Day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in one recent year, the numbers of fatal motor vehicle accidents across the U.S. during these holidays were as follows:

  • Fourth of July: 194 fatalities over a 36-hour period
  • Labor Day Weekend: 441 fatalities over a 3.5-day period
  • Thanksgiving Weekend: 432 fatalities over a 4.5-day period
  • Christmas through New Year’s Day: 1,087 fatalities over an 11.5-day period

These holidays present many opportunities for people to overindulge in alcohol. For example, people may attend barbecues during the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays, while dinners and social gatherings are common on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become notorious for heavy drinking, as college students return home on break to reconnect with hometown friends and some who leave work early head to the bars with co-workers before going home.

Other cultural holidays that see spikes in DUIs and drunk driving accidents include St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Halloween.

Be Prepared for Safe Driving This Season

Keep these tips in mind to help keep yourself safe on North Carolina roads during the holidays:

  • If you plan to drink at a holiday party or event, make plans to get home safely – whether that means having a designated driver, calling a taxi or rideshare, taking public transportation, or staying somewhere for the night.
  • Never get into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.
  • If you host a holiday party, do not let any attendees who have become impaired drive themselves home from the party. Have non-alcoholic beverage options for drivers at your party.
  • Pull over and call 911 if you see an intoxicated driver on the road. Signs of driver intoxication include the inability to maintain a lane or keep pace with traffic, drifting off the road, sudden and unusual maneuvers like hard braking, and running red lights and stop signs.
  • Always wear your seat belt, as it will reduce your risk of serious injury if you are in an accident.
  • Avoid driving later at night when drunk drivers are more likely to be on the road as they leave bars and holiday parties.

Contact Our DUI Victim Lawyers in NC Today

Were you hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver in North Carolina? Contact Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our firm works hard to hold drunk drivers accountable for their reckless behavior. Let our DUI accident attorneys answer your questions and explain how we can help you demand justice. 

Davis Poisson is a trial attorney with Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC and is licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Davis devotes the majority of his practice to civil litigation with a focus on personal injury law. He represents clients throughout the Carolinas in all areas of personal injury law including car accidents, trucking accidents, catastrophic injury, premises liability and wrongful death cases.