How do you find the balance between caution and the urge to drink before the holidays? Considering the increasing popularity of Drinksgiving, or Blackout Wednesday, it seems some parties have thrown moderation to the wind.
That urge to drink with friends before popping the turkey into the oven can, however, become deadly. The U.S. has seen a marked increase in DUIs on the Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving over the past several years.
With that in mind, travelers and would-be drinkers alike need to know the risks of this deadly day. If you want to hold a drunk driver accountable for losses you sustained due to their negligence, get in touch with a drunk driving attorney today.
Where Did Drinksgiving Come From?
While the winter holidays invoke a sense of family, fun, and fellowship, they can also be stressful. For example, people often travel thousands of miles on Thanksgiving to be with people they care about. Travel and family can introduce stress into a person’s life.
Drinksgiving, which became a trend in 2007, is an excuse people often use to tackle that stress. Travelers get together with their loved ones and drink to prepare themselves for the holiday celebrations to come.
The practice, while good-spirited, has consistently proved dangerous in the years since the U.S. Department of Transportation first noted the number of pre-Thanksgiving DUIs trending upward.
The Criminal Consequences of Drinking and Driving on Drinksgiving
Partiers who decide to drink on Black Wednesday can face criminal consequences if they get behind the wheel of a car while drunk. Pennsylvania’s Act 24 outlines three degrees of drunkenness that the state considers criminal. These include the following:
- General impairment: 0.08 to .099% blood alcohol content (BAC)
- High BAC: 0.10 to .159% BAC
- Highest BAC: 0.16% and higher BAC
The state bases the criminal consequences a person may face on their degree of intoxication at the time of a police stop or accident. Those accused of general impairment may face fines of up to $300 and six months of probation.
Drivers accused of operating a vehicle with a high BAC may face up to six months in prison and fines of $5,000, which could be similar to those accused of driving with a BAC of 0.16% or higher.
Recovering From Drinksgiving Can Take More Than a Hangover Cure
The aftereffects of Drinksgiving can range from personal to criminal. Parties who over-imbibe and find themselves facing DUI charges may have to contend with fines, license suspensions, and jail time.
Parties whose drunken behavior offends family members may find themselves disinvited from lifelong traditions in years to come.
Even people who weren’t drinking on Drinksgiving may find themselves dealing with the consequences of someone else’s night out. If you get into an accident with somebody who got behind the wheel while intoxicated, you may have to address serious injuries or property damage resulting from that person’s drunkenness.
Fortunately, the road to recovery for DUI accident survivors gets easier to navigate with a civil attorney’s help. Injured parties can schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer after the holidays to discuss how to fight for compensation based on DUI losses.
When to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
You have a limited amount of time to bring DUI losses to the attention of Pennsylvania civil judges. The state’s statute of limitations gives you no more than two years to bring forward proof of someone else’s negligence should you want to fight for fair compensation.
An attorney can help you file a personal injury claim well within your statute of limitations. In doing so, an attorney can make it possible for you to either arrange out-of-court settlement negotiations with a liable party or go to trial.
You can determine which of these courses of action suits you best during a free case evaluation after the holidays.
Tips and Tricks for Staying Safe This Drinksgiving
With the number of DUIs on Black Wednesday increasing every year, how can the average person keep themselves safe? Some may recommend staying in or minimizing travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. However, with some people visiting families in other states or several hours away, that may not be possible.
If you’re driving to family festivities, you should engage in extra caution while on the road. It’s also in your best interest to drive during daylight hours. If you’re flying or using other modes of transportation to get to your destination, connect with rideshare drivers early and report any vehicle operator misconduct you witness.
It is possible to drink before Thanksgiving without getting into legal trouble. With moderation and pre-planning you can enjoy a drink without compromising your legal standing or social well-being.
Stay Ahead of the Drinksgiving Blues
After a long day on the road and the opportunity to socialize with old friends, it’s tempting to have one more drink than you should the night before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, that temptation can put you, your friends, and your community at risk.
More and more parties are encouraging caution on Black Wednesday, considering the continued rise of DUI accidents around the country. If you find yourself contending with the aftermath of a DUI accident, let the personal injury accident attorneys in your area know. An experienced lawyer can help you assess your losses before outlining your road to recovery.