What to do if You Are Hit by a Drunk Driver on New Years Eve

March 28, 2024
Auto Accidents

New Year’s Eve often involves a dangerous combination of hazards, including late-night driving and traditional celebrations with alcohol. It’s no wonder that the late hours of New Year's account for some of the deadly crashes in the year.

Between 2011 and 2015, 62% of New Year’s auto accident deaths were caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that New Year auto crash deaths exceed those of any other day of the year. The average percentage of driving under the influence crash fatalities for any other day of the year during that same period was 35%.

People seem to drive more drunk than normal on New Year’s Eve, too. In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more, but 71% of New Year’s traffic accidents involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15. 

It’s not all bad news: Due to peer pressure and publicity, drunk-driving fatalities in the U.S. have declined by 18% since 1982. Still, there's a lot of room for improvement. Alcohol-impaired car accidents still account for 29% of all traffic fatalities in the United States In 2017, over 10,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes. That amounts to one person dying in alcohol-related car crashes every 49-50 minutes.

Why Do People Drink So Much on New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve symbolizes renewal: out with the old year, and in with the new one. It seems prudent to raise a glass to toast the future. 

A recent online survey by Harris Poll examined adults' behavior during the holiday season and the reasons behind their behavior. 16% of the people surveyed said they drank more than normal during the holiday season, and 50% said alcohol plays a significant role in their family gatherings, primarily as a way to reduce the anxiety and stress associated with those events. Over 50% of those surveyed had experienced negative consequences after drinking during the holiday season, including:

  • 10% got into a motor vehicle accident because of alcohol impairment
  • 13% had a drunk driving criminal charge
  • 16% had sex with someone they now regret
  • 24% blacked out and don't remember what happened

Be Prepared: What to do After a Car Accident During the Holidays


What are the Things Drivers Can Do to Prevent Getting a DUI During the Holidays?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends taking the following measures to prevent alcohol-related injuries this New Year’s Eve:

  • Don’t drive after drinking – for whatever reason. Use alternative transportation, public transportation, or stay the night.
  • If you know you'll drink, make plans to get home safely: Designate a sober driver who won’t drink; take a taxi home or use ride-sharing services such as Lyft or Uber.
  • Don’t let family members or friends drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Confiscate their keys and help them get home safely.
  • If you’re hosting a celebration where alcohol will be served, ensure all drunk guests leave with a sober driver.
  • Buckle up! Wear your seat belt and be extra cautious – you might be sober, but other drivers on the road might not.
  • If you see a drunk driver, call law enforcement or highway patrol. You could save a life.

Learn More: Damages You Can Recover From an Injury Claim

What to Do If You're in a Traffic Accident with a Drunk Driver During New Year's Eve

Regardless of how cautious you're behind the wheel, there might be no way to avoid an accident with an impaired driver. So, despite being cautious, what happens if you sustain bodily injuries in a collision with an intoxicated driver this New Year’s Eve?

  • Seek medical treatment immediately, whether suffer any visible personal injuries and follow any medical treatment plans prescribed by your doctor.
  • Keep a record of all financial damages you incur because of the crash, including medical bills, vehicle repair invoices, transportation expenses, and any time you're forced to miss work.
  • Start a daily journal where you record the intangible effects of your crash-related injuries, such as emotional distress, feelings of physical pain, and psychosocial limitations.
  • Report the details about the motor vehicle crash to your insurance company, but keep your descriptions concise and avoid offering any information that you aren't asked to share. Once you hire an experienced Decatur personal injury lawyer refer the auto accident insurance adjuster to your car accident attorney.
  • Don't discuss the details of your crash with any other parties, and don't post information about the crash or yourself on social media while your personal injury case is underway.
  • Contact an experienced auto accident injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.

If you're injured by a drunk driver, on New Year's eve or any other day, it's crucial to contact an experienced attorney to receive the maximum compensation you deserve to cover your medical costs, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and other financial damages. If you are hit by a drunk driver on New Years Eve you might also be eligible to recover punitive damages against the at-fault driver. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact the skilled car accident lawyers at Marks Law Group today at (678) 251-9309.