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During which holidays are drivers at the highest risk of DWI charges?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | DUI

Police officers in Missouri are always watching for signs of traffic violations. They can pull people over for speeding or failing to use a turn signal. These offenses generally only lead to a traffic ticket. They can also arrest anyone who drives while under the influence of alcohol, which often leads to criminal prosecution.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses can lead to license suspensions, large fines and even incarceration. Motorists generally prefer to avoid such charges whenever possible. Those who regularly drink often engage in harm-reduction practices to ensure that they are as safe as possible on the road. One of the steps they may need to take for their own protection is to learn when enforcement efforts will be particularly high. Major holidays, for example, often experience a spike in enforcement efforts.

Certain holidays are more dangerous than others

The biggest federal holidays see a statistically relevant increase in drunk driving collisions. These days, and the weekends closest to them, tend to have far more fatalities than the average day. However, certain holidays have a greater degree of drunk driving crash risk than others.

Although people often think of Christmas as one of the worst days for drunk drivers, it is actually a less dangerous day to be on the road than many other holidays. According to an analysis of holiday drunk driving wrecks, each of the biggest holidays is usually responsible for about 21% of the reported holiday drunk driving wrecks, but Christmas only sees 15% of the reported wrecks.

Thanksgiving often sees a bigger increase in drunk driving, and that increase often starts the day before the holiday. Thanksgiving, along with the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day also tend to see a significant increase in the number of collisions related to chemical impairment.

These holidays are, therefore, dates when law enforcement professionals might redouble their efforts to detect and arrest drunk drivers. Many of these crashes occur on state highways, so local law enforcement efforts may focus on the most-traveled local highways for optimal impact. Ultimately, learning more about trends in drunk driving crash rates and law enforcement efforts can ultimately help people limit their risk of arrest and prosecution accordingly.