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Steps & Tips to Avoid Drinking and Driving on New Year’s Eve

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Drunk driving accidents occur every day of the year in Michigan. In the Great Lakes State, 30% of fatal crashes in 2020 were alcohol-related, with 326 fatalities and 2,249 possible injuries due to drunk driving.

New Year’s remains one of the worst times for drunk driving accidents, with 12 alcohol-related deaths occurring in 2020 and 6 in 2021. Since 1972, Michigan has had an average of 13 drunk driving fatalities every New Year.

Avoiding drinking and driving on New Year’s Eve reduces the chances of an injury accident on what should be a celebratory time. Explore helpful tips for preventing drinking and driving on New Year’s eve and how the drunk driving accident lawyers at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., can help if you’re injured in a Michigan drunk driving accident.

Impaired Driving in Michigan

In Michigan, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater if you are over 21 is against the law. People who drink and drive may face criminal charges for their actions. In addition, they can be held liable for an accident victim’s medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages caused by their decision to drive under the influence.

Although Michigan is a no-fault state, all drivers must carry liability insurance of up to $50,000 for injury to one person and $100,000 for injury to multiple people in an accident. If you suffer harm in an accident with a drunk driver and your damages exceed your PIP coverage, you can seek compensation through a personal injury liability claim with the negligent driver’s insurance.

In addition to filing a claim with the drunk driver after a Michigan car accident, you may be able to seek a settlement from the person or establishment that served them alcohol.

The state’s dram shop laws place responsibility on retail establishments such as restaurants and bars for damages in drunk driving accidents. Under the dram shop laws, you can seek compensation from any establishment that serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or minor.

An accident attorney from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can work with you to establish fault for your New Year’s Eve drunk driving accident and seek compensation from the responsible parties.

Tips for Avoiding Drunk Driving on New Year’s Eve

It’s vital for all those who celebrate New Year’s Eve to avoid driving under the influence. If you plan to drink this New Year’s or be out at night, you can take the following actions to make the road safer and protect yourself from injury.

Keep Your Distance from Intoxicated Drivers

Stay as far away as possible if you notice signs of drunk driving, such as erratic swerving, veering, or braking or not stopping at stop lights or stop signs. Document the driver’s car make, model, and license plate and report them to the police. Your actions may help prevent an accident from occurring.

Don’t Drive During Risky Times

If possible, avoid driving during the riskiest times on New Year’s Eve. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 66% of fatality accidents between midnight and 3 a.m. involve alcohol and that 6 p.m. to midnight and 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. also show elevated alcohol-related collisions.

Plan Ahead

If you plan to drink on New Year’s Eve, have a strategy to avoid drinking and driving. This may include setting up a designated driver before the party, or ensuring you can stay at the venue after the celebration ends.

Celebrate At Home

Consider celebrating New Year’s Eve at home instead of going out. Staying at home with loved ones lets you celebrate with those closest to you and avoid being out on the road with a potential drunk driver. If you want to drink, staying home lets you do so without endangering the lives of others.

Stop Drinking Early and Limit Alcohol Intake

Alcohol has a half-life of about 4 to 5 hours, and it can take about 90 minutes to reach peak levels in your bloodstream. The more alcohol you drink, the longer it takes for its effects to wear off. To keep others safe on New Year’s Eve, stop drinking a few hours before you plan to leave and limit your intake at the beginning of the night.


Tips for Minimizing Drunk Driving as a Host

Although party hosts are not legally responsible for damages caused by intoxicated drivers over 21 they can help prevent drunk driving accidents. Those hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration can take the following steps to minimize the risk of their guests causing harm when the party’s over:

  • Offer non-alcoholic drink options
  • Don’t serve alcohol at all
  • Ask about or provide designated drivers for the event
  • Offer guests a place to sleep
  • Pay for an Uber, Lyft, or taxi for drunk guests

What Should You Do if You’re Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident On New Year’s Eve?

If a drunk driver harms you or a loved one on New Year’s Eve, contact an attorney from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. Our lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options for compensation.

Those injured by an intoxicated driver’s negligence can seek a settlement for economic damages such as lost wages, medical bills, and rehabilitative care. As an accident victim, you may also pursue non-economic damages for emotional distress resulting from the motor vehicle collision.

If a loved one has died due to the actions of a drunk driver, our attorneys can work with you to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for loss of future wages, loss of companionship, and funeral costs.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. Today

The auto accident attorneys at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can help you gain compensation to recover after a New Year’s Eve drunk driving collision. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident and gather evidence to prove the intoxicated driver’s actions caused your injuries and win your case.

We have won our clients millions in compensation and will work hard to get you the settlement you deserve.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win our case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Lynn Mayfield is a writer and has worked in finance and education. Lynn earned her Master's Degree in Education and now writes informative articles for various legal organizations. She enjoys drinking coffee and spending time outdoors.



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