Memorial Day marks the start of a deadly drunk driving season and the holiday weekend itself accounts for approximately 400 car accident deaths each year. About 36% of these crashes involve impaired drivers. To reduce the risk for deadly DUI crashes during the Memorial Day holiday, the National Safety Council recommends that Nevadans designate a sober driver or arrange alternative transportation before they start their celebrations.
Memorial Day Weekend Is a Dangerous Time
Almost 50,000 people across the country will suffer serious injuries in car accidents over Memorial Day weekend this year. A contributing factor in many of these crashes will be drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Weekend parties, gatherings at the lake, and nights out on the town often include alcohol. Sadly, these celebrations frequently end in DUI accident deaths. During Memorial Day weekend 2016, 36% of fatal accidents involved a driver who was impaired by alcohol.
Designated Drivers Save Lives
A driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts himself and others on the road at risk of injury or death. Those who plan to have a few drinks over the holiday weekend should make arrangements beforehand to get back home safely. Making a plan to have a designated driver is the wisest decision that a driver can make. A designated driver does more than just prevent accidents and save lives. He or she can protect the freedom of the drinker from the penalties that come with DUI accident convictions.
Nevada Takes DUI Accidents Seriously
The stakes are high when a drunk driver causes an accident that severely injures or kills someone in Nevada. If found guilty, the driver could be sent to state prison for up to 20 years and pay fines up to $5,000. In addition to any compensatory damages due to the victim or the victim’s family, the impaired driver could be ordered to pay punitive damages as well, especially if he or she is not a first-time offender.
Despite strict enforcement, a new law that requires impaired drivers to install ignition interlocks, and a large number of DUI accident lawsuits with substantial settlements and verdicts, people in Nevada continue to drink and drive. In Clark County, the number of DUI accident deaths continues to rise.