St. Patrick’s Day is a beloved holiday for many people, not just in New Orleans but around the country. It is also one of the most dangerous holidays, because of the number of drunk drivers on the road. In 2019, 63% of car accidents on St. Patrick’s Day were caused by drunk drivers.
When celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, take precautions to stay safe and never let a friend or family member get behind the wheel of a car if they have been drinking. If you are injured in a St. Patrick’s Day crash caused by a drunk driver, our New Orleans drunk driving injury lawyers can help you get fair compensation for your injuries.
Alcohol consumption is commonly a big part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, making it a deadly time for drivers and pedestrians. These alarming statistics illustrate the high levels of alcohol consumption over the holiday and the resulting effect on drunk driving rates:
- St. Patrick’s Day is the single most profitable day of the year for pubs and restaurants in the United States.
- In 2019, beer sales soared by 20% on St. Patrick’s Day across the country. In Boston, a historically Irish-American city, stout sales increased 355%.
- People who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day drink 4.2 drinks on average on this day.
- Between 2015 and 2019, 280 people lost their lives to drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day. In 2019, drunk drivers killed one person every 52 minutes on American highways.
- Walking home might seem like a safer choice when you’re drunk, but 32% of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents had blood alcohol levels of 0.8% or higher. High blood alcohol levels can lead to poor muscle coordination, impairment of judgment, and low perception of danger. Drunk pedestrians may be more likely to cross the street outside of designated crosswalks and/or against the light.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even though you may believe you can drive safely while buzzed, it is still impaired driving. Here are a few safety tips to remember this St. Patrick’s Day:
- Call a local taxi company or use a rideshare service to arrive home safely.
- Alternatively, designate a sober companion who can drive you home or accompany you on your walk home.
- Contact law enforcement if you spot a driver showing signs of drunk driving, such as weaving in and out of lanes.
- Take your friend’s keys away if they are drunk and want to drive. Help them find a sober friend, a taxi, or a ridesharing service to get them home.
- Never ride as a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.
- Wear your seatbelt if you plan to drive home sober with friends and family. Your seatbelt could end up saving your life in a collision with a drunk driver. 47% of passengers killed in vehicle accidents in 2019 were not wearing seat belts.
If a drunk driver has injured you while you were out on St. Patrick’s Day, there are a few things you should do right away.
- Note the driver’s car and license plate: Take photos and videos of the car’s license plate, make, model, and color. If you have a passenger with you, ask them to take a photo or video of the car. If the accident was a hit-and-run, your pictures and videos could help police track down the vehicle.
- Call the police: Report the accident to the police and ask for emergency medical services, if needed. Tell them about the possibility of a drunk driver. Police officers can complete an accident report and determine if the driver is intoxicated with a field sobriety test or through a blood test.
- Get witness contact information: If there were any witnesses to your accident, ask them for their contact information. In court, they may testify in support of your claim.
- Get medical attention: Book an appointment with your healthcare provider. They can check if you have internal injuries and put together a medical treatment plan for your recovery. Your doctor can document your injuries and medical treatments for your records if you file an injury claim to recover the cost of your medical expenses and other losses.
- Hire a lawyer: After your accident, you need to reach out to the other driver’s insurance company to file your claim. However, they may offer you a low settlement that may not cover all your medical expenses and lost wages related to your injuries.
A lawyer can handle your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you are receiving fair compensation. They can review your photos, videos, and medical records to give you an estimate of your total damages for your settlement.
Despite your best efforts to stay safe on St. Patrick’s Day, there is still a chance you may get into an accident with a drunk driver. Contact Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers if you or a loved one gets into an injury-causing crash through no fault of your own on St. Patrick’s Day. Our car accident attorneys provide free consultations so you can discuss your legal options after a crash.
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