4 tips to stay safe on ‘Blackout Wednesday,’ as holiday drunk driving spikes begin

DUI, Crime

The night before Thanksgiving – this Wednesday, November 26 – has become known as “Blackout Wednesday,” due to its association with one of the biggest party nights of the year. It’s also the unofficial start of the busy and dangerous drinking and driving season that lasts until New Year’s Day.

More than 700 people injured or killed each day during the holidays

Drinking and driving around the holidays boasts some sobering statistics: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 700 people will be injured or killed each day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in drunk driving accidents, a rate two to three times higher than the rest of the year. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that alcohol-related highway deaths increase by 40 percent on just Thanksgiving alone.

4 tips to stay safe and legally protected this holiday season

Whether you’re going out with friends this Wednesday night or just making a last minute trip to the grocery store, drivers and passengers should follow these tips to stay safe and legally protected while on the road this upcoming holiday season:

Avoid. Avoid drivers who show signs of intoxication such as swerving or inconsistent speeds. If you’ve had too much to drink, avoid getting behind the wheel by using a designated driver or by taking a taxi or car service.

Getting a DUI could cost you 100 times as much as paying for a car service or taxi to get home and ultimately you risk a lot more than money if you choose to drive.

Vehicle. Always keep your vehicle’s registration and insurance card handy in case you are pulled over or are the victim of a car accident. If you are involved in an accident caused by someone else, call the police at the scene of the incident, notify your insurance and assess your legal rights by consulting an attorney.

Violations. If you’re pulled over or cause a traffic violation, be mindful of how the officer will try to assess the situation. You should cooperate and know your rights with regards to rules of implied consent and the right to search and seize of your vehicle.

Options. Gauge your legal options. Use Avvo to ask free legal questions, find an attorney or simply research driving laws in your state.

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