Alarming Holiday Drunk Driving Statistics

The last few years have seen reduced holiday travel. But after years of COVID lockdowns, Texans are traveling this holiday season like never before. According to media reports, 2022 will see the third-highest volume of holiday travelers in more than 20 years. In fact, a little over 8 million Texans are traveling to see family and friends or possibly just go on vacation for the holidays.

Unfortunately, with so many people on the roads, some of them will be drinking. And that means there will be more drunk driving accidents and more victims in the hospital.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, our state saw some terribly high drunk driving accident numbers last holiday season. As a result, the police will be on high alert and will pull over anyone who appears to be intoxicated. If you are arrested, please contact Tad Nelson & Associates to begin building a defense. There is no reason to ring in the new year with a criminal conviction for DWI.

Last Year, 23% of Holiday Traffic Accidents Involved Drunk Driving

Put differently, about 1 in 4 traffic accidents had someone intoxicated behind the wheel. That is an uncomfortably high number—especially in this day and age of Uber, Lyft, taxis, and other transportation choices.

This percentage is much higher than for the rest of the year, when about 15,000 accidents are alcohol related, out of a total of 550,000 collisions. That works out to roughly 3% or so of accidents being alcohol related. Why is the percentage higher during the holidays? Probably because more people are drinking and driving later at night, when fatigue can compound the effects of alcohol.

With many more people traveling in 2022, we expect holiday drunk driving accidents to jump again, outpacing the 2021 numbers.

Almost 100 People Died in Drunk Driving Wrecks

The 2021 holiday season also saw 98 people die in these car accidents. For all of last year, roughly 4,500 people died in traffic accidents. We imagine that thousands more people suffered serious non-fatal injuries, such as concussions or back injuries.

If you hurt someone in a wreck, you can face Intoxication Assault charges, which have very high penalties. If someone tragically dies, you can face second-degree felony Intoxication Manslaughter charges with time in prison.

You Need Experienced Legal Assistance if Charged

Anyone caught drunk driving this holiday season has an uphill climb getting a fair shake, especially if you crashed into someone or had children in the vehicle. Even first-time offenders can see time in jail when someone’s life is put at risk by drunk driving. Prosecutors are unlikely to take it easy on the theory that “everyone has a drink during the holidays.” Instead, they could seek the harshest penalties possible.

Tad Nelson is an experienced DWI defense attorney in Houston and surrounding areas. He and his team will review the charges and try to find some weaknesses in the state’s case. To learn more about his services, call the office or send an online message. Our consultations are free.