Driving Drunk Kills More than the Holiday Spirit

Cory P. Whalen - SiebenCarey "Know Your Rights" AttorneyDecember 23, 2013

We can expect a very white Christmas this year; virtually the entire state will be covered by Christmas. The Swans-a-swimming, Geese-a-laying, Turtle Doves, Partridges and all the others will be conspicuously absent as they have all flown south to warmer climes this winter. Courageous and hardy Minnesotans, however, will brave the elements during our private arctic expeditions as we journey to our respective holiday gatherings and festivities.We at SiebenCarey would like to remind you all to take the necessary precautions this Christmas and holiday season when traveling, especially if you have been drinking.

Mother Nature has an endless store of challenges and treacheries for Minnesotans during the winter season. The country’s southeast has its hurricanes, the west has its earthquakes, and Minnesota has its blizzards, freezing rain, white-outs and black ice. Travel conditions are risky enough without adding alcohol to the gamble, but unfortunately, alcohol-related deaths in Minnesota are not uncommon. 1984 was the worst year in the history of the state, with alcohol-related deaths reaching a staggering number, at 332. We increased our caution, counsel and care after that, and by 2008, this number dropped to 161 deaths. Out of all traffic fatalities that year, 30% involved a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.

One of the very first “statistics” in 2008 was the tragic tale of the Minnesota police officer who had his wife with him for a ‘ride along’ on New Year’s Day.In the early hours of the morning, a young woman was driving her vehicle on the wrong side of the freeway and struck his vehicle head-on, killing the officer’s wife almost instantly. The woman who struck the police vehicle was so drunk that she couldn’t even remember the accident. We were able to recover a favorable sum for her husband and next-of-kin, but no sum could ever replace her as a grandmother, a sister, a mother, a wife. Alcohol is a dangerous variable to add to any situation where a vehicle is involved, a fact that is compounded tenfold if the roads are covered with snow and ice.

To ensure that everyone has a safe and happy Christmas season this year, we urge you to be cautious when driving, and conscientious when drinking.Remember, your life is not the only life you put at risk when you do not act responsibly.

While preparing for parties, vacations and gatherings this Christmas, don’t forget to plan ahead for safe lodging and transportation, especially if you will be drinking. Here at SiebenCarey, we would like to wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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