The holidays are a time to get together and celebrate with family and friends, but those celebrations also bring along the risks associated with drinking and holiday travel. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day are considered three of the most dangerous days of the year for being on the road. People frequently drink on those three holidays and travel is even more common than at other times of the year. Because of this, holiday DUI arrests tend to increase as well.
Thanksgiving Traffic Deaths and OVIs Declined
Statistics recently released by the Ohio State Patrol show that traffic fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday period declined for the second straight year. After an increase in 2014 saw the number of traffic fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday reach 24 the number of traffic fatalities dropped down to only 7 for the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday. The Ohio State Patrol also reported a decrease in crashes of over 20 percent and a decrease of over 8 percent in OVI stops in comparison to the same holiday period in 2015.
Record Traffic for Christmas and New Year’s
The decrease in traffic incidents over Thanksgiving is encouraging, but the calendar and a projected record number of holiday travelers provide reason to believe holiday traffic may be more dangerous than usual for Christmas and New Year’s Day. Travel projections released by the American Automobile Association (AAA) state that an expected 93.6 million people will drive between Christmas Eve and January 2nd, which would be a 1.5 percent increase over 2015. The record number of drivers will have one less day to be on the road since both Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on a Sunday, further increasing holiday congestion.
Increase in New Year’s Drunk Driving Incidents
With more people on the road, the danger created by a drunk driver only increases. Ohio State Patrol statistics for the 2015-2016 New Year’s holiday provide reason for Ohio drivers to be even more cautious this holiday season. The State Patrol reported an alarming 18.7 percent increase in OVI stops over the prior year’s New Year’s holiday period. The patrol district including Columbus and most of its suburbs had the most OVI incidents in the state last year, with a total of 71 from December 31, 2015, through January 3, 2016.
How a Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
As Christmas and New Year’s Day approach, the dangers of travel will increase as people look to reunite with family and friends. You can also expect an increased law enforcement presence on the roads as the Ohio State Patrol and local police departments work to keep the roads as safe as possible. But with an increase in law enforcement comes an increase in the risk of facing a drunk driving charge if you drink before beginning any holiday travels of your own. If you’ve been charged with OVI you need a Columbus criminal defense attorney with experience handling drunk driving cases who knows the best ways to defend you.
Luftman, Heck & Associates has experienced criminal defense attorneys who have handled hundreds of drunk driving cases and have worked hard to obtain the very best outcomes for our clients. We represent our clients on a wide variety of criminal charges, including drug possession and driving under the influence.
Call us today at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential consultation.