Maryland’s drunk driving realities

As the holiday season approaches, Minnesota residents should be prepared for increased dangers on the road.

Baltimore residents know that drunk driving is a serious problem. Too many people are injured or killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers every year. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in Baltimore County, there were 100 drunk driving fatalities between 2009 and 2013. Nearly half of those fatalities-a total of 47-occurred in Baltimore City.

Statewide, between 141 and 163 deaths in drunk driving accidents happened each year from 2009 to 2013. With three of our nation's major holidays fast approaching, taking a look at these dangers and how they may impact Maryland residents is important.

Holidays can increase the risk of drunk driving accidents

According to BACtrack.com, there is an increase in the number of arrests made for drunk driving around the country between Thanksgiving and the New Year's holiday. Given that Thanksgiving is the holiday that sees the greatest volume of travel, this reality can be understandable.

USA Today notes that in addition to travel volume, the day of the week that a holiday lands on can also impact the number of drunk driving incidents. When key holidays land on or span a full weekend, the dangers can increase. Thanksgiving includes a full weekend every year and this year both Christmas and New Year's will as well with December 25 and January 1 both landing on a Friday.

The National Safety Council has identified Thanksgiving as the third deadliest holiday for drunk driving with New Year's and Christmas in the fifth and sixth positions on the list.

The NHTSA compiled information over the course of multiple years, starting in 2001 and lasting through 2005. This data included the number of people who died per day in impaired driving accidents and the number of people who died per day in all vehicular accidents. Some of the results include the following:

  • 28 percent of all motor vehicle deaths on December non-holiday dates involved alcohol. The daily number of these drunk driving deaths was 33.
  • 38 percent of all motor vehicle deaths over the Christmas holiday dates involved alcohol. The daily number of these drunk driving deaths was 45.
  • 41 percent of all motor vehicle deaths over New Year's holiday dates involved alcohol. The daily number of these drunk driving deaths was 54.

Over the rest of the years, 31 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involved alcohol. The daily number of those drunk driving deaths was 36.

Advice for Maryland residents

Now that November is here, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are not far away. Extra diligence when travelling is advised. So too is the ability and willingness to call a lawyer if a crash occurs.