Maine DUI Deaths, Injuries and Arrests Spike Amid Holidays

On Thanksgiving morning, a man in Bangor had to be extracted from his vehicle by firefighters using the jaws of life. The painstaking recovery occurred as the 32-year-old was leaving a nearby restaurant close to 1 a.m. on Bangor Mall Boulevard. The snow was wet and heavy, and it was the second major storm since winter season has taken hold.

Officials say the vehicle was so badly damaged, there was no way to get to the seriously injured man except with heavy equipment. Although details of exactly how the crash occurred haven’t yet been released, we do know it was a newer-model vehicle that took a sharp turn, struck a stone and flipped onto its side.

The driver, who suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, has been charged with operating under the influence. It’s believed he previously consumed alcohol or drugs or possibly both before getting behind the wheel. It was the only serious accident to reportedly occur in city limits amidst the storm.

Still, he’s lucky.

Our Bangor drunk driving injury lawyers know these cases often don’t end as well. In far too many cases, the driver is killed. Worse, innocent passengers or other motorists or pedestrians may be the victims.

Serious and fatal crashes spike markedly from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend through New Year’s Day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports an average of 36 deaths occur on American roads on any given day as a result of alcohol impairment or drug impairment by drivers. However, that number soars to 45 deaths per day during the Christmas holiday and 54 during the New Year’s holiday.

This has for years prompted law enforcement officials to respond with a series of targeted efforts to fight back. These include enhanced, roving patrols specifically seeking drunk drivers during peak times. It also includes sobriety checkpoints at various thoroughfares at any given point.

These efforts have the effect of more arrests. But of course, so does the fact that more people are drinking and driving during this period as well. Unfortunately, far too many don’t seem to be getting the message.

Just recently in southern California, officials reported a drunk driver left more than a dozen people injured when he careened into a group of friends walking through a residential neighborhood to admire holiday lights. The 28-year-old driver was reportedly under the influence (and has a history of prior convictions for this offense) and also a suspended license. He slammed into two vehicles before barreling into a crowd of 13 who were standing on a sidewalk looking at Christmas lights.

At least one of those individuals remains in intensive care.

And in Illinois recently, a man was sentenced to three years in prison following a fatal DUI crash on Christmas Eve in which his own 8-year-old daughter – a passenger in his vehicle, traveling to her grandmother’s home – was killed.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is promoting its annual “Tie One One for Safety” holiday campaign, urging those who will imbibe this season to plan ahead for a safe way home.

If you are the victim of a Bangor car accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

Driver rescued with jaws of life, charged with OUI after flipping car near Bangor Mall, Nov. 27, 2014, By Mario Moretto, Bangor Daily News

More Blog Entries:

Drunk Driving a Costly, Risky Chance in Maine, Aug. 1, 2013, Bangor Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog

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