October is almost over, and November is just around the corner. While many of us are anxious about the upcoming elections in two weeks’ time, many of us are also looking forward to all the holidays lined up once the election period is over. In fact, after the election hustle, people will be anxious to unwind during the Thanksgiving weekend afterwards.
Thanksgiving is always a great time to let your hair down and enjoy life, rewarding yourself for all the hard work you’ve been over the past year. Unfortunately, some people tend to go overboard with their celebrations during this time, and end up being a part of the statistics for DUI in Las Vegas. To give you a bird’s eye view of things, let’s review some DUI statistics over the Thanksgiving season.
People take advantage of the long Thanksgiving weekend to come home and unwind for an extended period before stepping back into the hustle and bustle of work or school life. Thanksgiving is one of the periods apart from Christmas, Spring Break, or the Fourth of July where a large majority of Americans will be heading home to take five.
It can be daunting to see how many people will be travelling by land or air to spend Thanksgiving with family. Last year, an estimated 55 million people travelled for the Thanksgiving holiday, with a sizable chunk taking to the road. The large influx of homeward revellers exponentially increases the number of potential road accidents, whether through the lack of traffic discipline or through drunk drivers.
People are often used to the narrative that Thanksgiving is where most of the alcohol is consumed during the holiday. However, there has been an increasing trend towards binge-drinking on the eve before the event itself in recent years. The trend, known generally as Blackout Wednesday or Drinksgiving, appears to have started gaining traction at the start of the 2010s and has only continued to grow across the country.
The numbers aren’t low, either. One restaurant software systems provider reported a 23% growth in guest counts for their clients nationwide between 2017 and 2018, from nearly 500,000 in the previous year to over 640,000 individual paying consumers in the latter year. An additional note is that as far as regional numbers go, the West Coast (which includes Nevada) reported a 23% in sales for Blackout Wednesday in the same period. Local law enforcement is now paying particular attention to this period because it has extended the period when impaired drivers clog the roads in Las Vegas.
Holiday-related impaired driving is a common refrain we hear when any festivities come around. Often, it involves self-accidents where the drunk driver in question crashes into a road barrier, goes off-road and hits a tree or a rock, or in some rare cases gets thrown off a bridge. A larger number of these accidents involve crashing into other vehicles, or worse, mowing down pedestrians in a busy street.
Over a five-year period between 2013 and 2018, Over 800 crash-induced fatalities were related to impaired drivers. On average, at least one in three drivers were impaired in said incidents, a rather grim picture for DUI statistics. This is also not taking Blackout Wednesday cases into account, which may inflate the numbers in the coming years.
51% Holiday Binge Drinkers
Holidays are always a time when people would unwind and not worry about a care in the world. Some people completely transform into a different person when at home, taking their workmates completely by surprise. Unfortunately this also means they can become a risk to themselves and to other people when they are in holiday mode.
It may surprise you that many people caught for DUI during the Thanksgiving season get charged for the first time in their lives. On average, 51% of people caught and charged with DUI over Thanksgiving testify that they binge-drink more when it’s a holiday or vacation trip, and would be hard-pressed to overdrink when it’s a work week. As stated earlier, some people just tend to go the opposite way when not on the clock, but there are a select few that need special attention to keep people safe.
These numbers are not the end-all, be-all statistics for Thanksgiving DUI in Las Vegas and all across the country, but they should give you a clear picture of how easy it is for you to get charged during the period. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, but remember to do so responsibly and safely. If you are suddenly facing a Las Vegas DUI charge during the Thanksgiving weekend, remember that there are expert DUI attorneys that are ready to give you a hand.