New Year's Eve DUI

The deadliest driving season is about to draw to a close. The holiday season--from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through New Year's Day--often brings with it an increase in serious of fatal accidents. This is in part due to the number of travelers on the nation's road. With an increase in road traffic comes an increase in the number of drowsy or distracted drivers, and many of these travelers will also face adverse weather conditions. Although poor weather and higher numbers of vehicles on the roads are two of the reasons for auto accidents during the holidays, alcohol continues to be a significant factor in holiday crashes. The holiday driving season culminates for many with New Year's Eve celebrations. On the last day of year, many people will indulge in cocktails, beer, champagne, and other alcoholic libations before starting fresh with their New Year's resolutions. They treat New Year's Eve as sort of a "last hurrah." Unfortunately, for many people who choose to drink and drive--or for those that encounter impaired drivers on their way home--it could actually be a last hurrah. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) compiles data each year regarding crash facts and accident statistics around the state. According to their 2013 Fact Sheet for the New Year holiday, the date is indeed a dangerous one for alcohol-related traffic accidents. For the purpose of the fact sheet, the most recent statistics involve the  New Year's Eve holiday period beginning at 6:00 p.m. on December 31, 2012, and ending at midnight on January 1, 2013. During this 30 hour span, there were three crashes in Oklahoma, three people were killed in motor vehicle accidents, including two pedestrians. One person was killed in an alcohol-related accident. However, fatality accidents do not tell the whole story. During that same span of time, 128 people were injured in automobile accidents, and 47 were injured in alcohol-related accidents. The number of fatal accidents in Oklahoma for New Year 2013 was, fortunately, a significant decrease over the previous years: [caption id="attachment_4401" align="aligncenter" width="530"]Capture http://ok.gov/ohso/documents/FS2013_NewYear.pdf[/caption] If you are planning to include alcohol as part of your New Year's Eve celebration, please take a moment to plan ahead to avoid driving after drinking. Staying home, designating a sober driver, making arrangements for safe ride home through a cab company or ride-sharing app, or taking advantage of a holiday safe ride service such as AAA's Tipsy Tow service are just some of the ways you can avoid a DUI this New Year's Eve. AAA's Tipsy Tow is a service that is free to both AAA members and non-members. A tow truck will drive you and one passenger home and tow your own vehicle to your home within a 15 mile radius of pickup. Tipsy Tow is not available in all cities, but it is available in Metro OKC, Metro Tulsa, Ardmore, Bartlesville, Enid, Lawton, Muskogee, Shawnee, and Tahlequah. The 2014/2015 New Year's holiday Tipsy Tow service is available until January 2, 2015 at 4:00 a.m. Click here to learn more.  

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