Holidays Increase Risks of Drunk Driving Accidents in Maine

Celebrating the New Year with parties, dinners out or activities with friends is a very common tradition and one that many people throughout Maine will enjoy. If you are one of the revelers who will be enjoying some fun to ring in 2013, our Portland accident attorneys want to remind you of the importance of driving sober.

Drunk driving is extremely dangerous and can result in the loss of life or serious injury. If you are involved in causing a drunk driving accident, your decision to drive drunk can also result in criminal penalties, the loss of your freedom and a large civil lawsuit against you. The price of drunk driving is never worth the potential consequences and it is important to remember that this holiday season. 741831_man_and_his_beer.jpg

Drive Sober Enforcement Efforts in Maine
With so many people out partying and celebrating over the New Year, it should come as no surprise that experts indicate it is the most dangerous time of the year for drunk-driving incidents. However, you may be surprised at just how many people actually do drink and drive during New Year’s festivities: Auto Guide indicates that just about half of the fatal accidents on New Year’s involve an intoxicated driver.

Driving drunk impairs your reflexes and concentration, making it much more difficult for you to make smart driving decisions and to operate your vehicle in a safe way. A drunk driver can hurt others or even kill someone. In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reported 23 DUI-related deaths in Maine in 2011.

The Bangor Daily News also discussed the number of DUI deaths in Maine, indicating that there had been a steady drop in recent years. While fewer people are dying of drunk driving and while 23 deaths doesn’t seem like a huge number, the fact remains however that these drunk driving deaths are 100 percent preventable. Many more individuals also suffer injuries, not deaths, at the hands of an intoxicated driver.

To help cut down on the risk of injury or death on New Year’s, the biggest DUI day of the year, the Bangor Daily News reported that the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety has divided up $440,000 in payments to 52 police departments across the state that will be used as part of efforts to stop impaired drivers. These funds will help pay for part of the costs of Maine’s participation in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. For example, the funds are to be used to provide money to pay for the cost of having more officers out between December 14 and January 2.

Staying Sober On New Year’s
Police are stepping up law enforcement to catch DUI drivers, and it is important for every partygoer not to become one of those drivers stopped by the police. A DUI can result in an arrest, fines, criminal prosecution and other consequences, even if you are lucky enough not to kill yourself or someone else. A DUI can also, in tragic cases, result in a fatal or injury-causing wreck.

To avoid these dire consequences, be sure to:

  • Only drink if you have a designated driver.
  • Talk to your teens about holiday drinking and driving.
  • Have a cell phone, money and a taxi cab’s number with you in case you need a backup plan to get home.
  • Stop your friends from operating a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Following these tips and staying sober on New Years should help you to avoid injuring others or yourself.

If you are the victim of a Portland DUI accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004 or read more on our website.

Additional Resources:
Portland Injury Attorneys Wishing You a Safe Thanksgiving, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, November 19, 2012.