For many, New Year’s Eve should be a time of excitement and expectation for the coming year. As the ball dropped in Times Square, people all over the city contemplated their New Year’s resolutions and wondered what the next 365 days hold in store. But even as some people greeted the future with expectation, there were others making dangerous decisions that put people at risk of never seeing the rest of the year.
Driving drunk or under the influence of other substances spikes on celebrations like New Year’s Eve, as too many people associate the holiday with over-consumption of alcohol or recreational drugs. That many of these same people then choose to drive is not completely surprising, considering their decision-making is often compromised by the substances they ingest. But just as dangerous as those who have way too many drinks are those who only have a few.
For many people, recognizing when the amount of alcohol consumed begins to inhibit reaction time and decision-making is extremely difficult. A person may feel “normal” but already be suffering from diminished capacity. Also dangerous is a person who feels completely sober, then has one more before driving not recognizing that the systemic effects of alcohol can take time and kick in while behind the wheel.
The simplest solution to this potential problem is to have a plan ahead of time and stick to it, regardless of how you feel. Knowing how long it takes your body to process alcohol is key information, but the most important factor is to always err on the side of caution. If you are unsure whether two hours is enough for you to process even a single drink, find a designated driver ahead of time.
If you have been involved in an accident, and alcohol or drugs may have been a factor, please consult with an experienced attorney. A qualified lawyer can help you press your case, and can guide you through the process of establishing whether or not the other driver behaved in an unsafe manner.