Holidays prompt spikes in young adult drinking and driving
Holidays can be special days for fun and relaxation, as well as festivities that honor and celebrate important events and people. Each one brings its own unique joys, traditions and meanings not only to Joplin, but across Missouri and the U.S.
Unfortunately, some people use holidays as an excuse to drink and drive. In many cases, it's because they are going from party to party or from bar to bar. In all cases, it's irresponsible behavior that can lead to drunk driving accidents, injuries and fatalities.
In many cases, these errors of excess are made by young adults. Past Harris polls have shown that three holidays are the days on which college freshmen drink most heavily. You might well be able to guess the three: New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day and Halloween.
The three holidays all present good reasons for fun and celebration, but far too many people indulge to excess on those days and then climb behind the wheel of an automobile. A drunk driver effectively turns their vehicle into a deadly missile hurtling down Jasper County highways, streets and roads.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 48 percent of all traffic fatalities on Halloween are in drunk driving crashes. The NHTSA says half of those intoxicated drivers are young men between the ages of 18 and 34.
For those who lose a loved one to a drunk driver, and for those who are seriously injured in a crash caused by an intoxicated motorist, healing can involve more than the passage of time or medical care. It sometimes means you hold the person responsible for the damages accountable for their senseless actions.
A discussion with an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death cases can be part of that process.