Feds Fight Drug or Alcohol Impaired Driving During the Holiday Season


January 23, 2013

The December holiday season and New Year’s Eve is a period when drivers are traveling more vehicle miles. This season is also filled with Christmas parties in homes, workplaces and other celebrations that often include alcohol or drugs.

Because car accident injuries and fatalities spike during the end of the year, President Obama designated December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

The President’s proclamation was bolstered by programs from other federal agencies. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced its Drunk Driving: Over the Limit. Under Arrest campaign. The program involved coordination with police departments and other law enforcement agencies across the country to implement measures to deter drunk driving with sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and other aggressive law enforcement tactics designed to keep the roads safer so that this season of joy was not ruined by unanticipated tragedy.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics regarding the enormous impact of drunk driving and drug impaired driving provide a clear picture of the danger:

  • A third of all traffic accident-related fatalities are the product of drunk driving accidents.
  • Someone dies in an alcohol impaired car crash every 48 minutes.
  • Drugs like cocaine, heroin, crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy cause 18 percent of auto accident deaths.
  • The fiscal cost of alcohol impaired auto collisions exceeds $51 billion per year.

Despite these alarming statistics, the practice of drug and alcohol impaired driving is still rampant. Approximately, 1.4 million people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during a recent year. In some recent studies, the number of people engaged in drugged driving is even higher than the number of alcohol impaired drivers. The epidemic of prescription drug abuse and legalization of marijuana in some states has contributed to this shift according to some traffic safety experts.

When drivers choose to operate a motor vehicle when they are high or drunk, they may be determined by a judge or jury to have recklessly disregarded the consequences of their conduct. Punitive damages may be assessed against the alcohol or drug impaired driver when the defendant’s driving conduct meets this standing. Accident causes by drivers who put others at risk by driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol often justify punitive damage awards. When punitive damages are assessed, they often exceed compensatory damages.

Our Georgia drunk driving accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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