Holidays Have Higher Risk of Drunken Driving Accidents, Alabama Attorney Says

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Lawyer Keith T. Belt Jr. says Alabama’s Rate of Drunken Driving Deaths Among Highest in Nation.

Attorney Keith T. Belt, Jr.

Alabama has one of the highest rates of deaths due to drunk drivers in the country, and alcohol-related accidents tend to increase this time of year.

The number of parties and festive gatherings multiply during the holidays. All of those events contribute to a substantial increase in fatal wrecks caused by drunk drivers during this time of year, a Birmingham, Alabama attorney cautions.

“Alabama has one of the highest rates of deaths due to drunk drivers in the country, and alcohol-related accidents tend to increase this time of year,” said Keith T. Belt, Jr., a personal injury lawyer with the Belt Law Firm of Birmingham, Alabama. “It’s unfortunate. But the holidays shouldn’t be an excuse to drink and drive.”

A 2007 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that the number of alcohol-related fatalities on the nation’s highways increased significantly during the holidays. Alcohol-related accidents averaged 45 deaths per day during the Christmas period and 54 deaths per day during the New Year’s holiday, compared to 36 deaths per day the rest of the year.

The number of alcohol-related fatal crashes declined 13 percent in Alabama from 2007 to 2008, new statistics show. Still, Alabama remains among the dozen states with the highest rates of drunken driving accidents in the nation, according to NHTSA statistics.

In 2008, there were 966 traffic fatalities in Alabama, including 315 deaths in accidents involving alcohol. The previous year, there were 1,110 traffic fatalities and 377 involving drunken drivers.

“A season of joy can be ruined in an instant by a drunk driver,” Belt said. “More than 300 people lost their lives in Alabama last year because of drunken driving, and their families won’t get to share the holidays with them. It’s not only illegal to drive while impaired, but it can be deadly. If you decide to drink, designate a sober driver or call a cab.”

Nationwide, the number of people killed in crashes involving drunk drivers has been on a downward trajectory since the early 1980s after advocacy groups called attention to the problem and stricter enforcement began. All 50 states have passed laws making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above.

“Enjoy the holidays and drive safely,” Belt said.

About Belt Law Firm

The Belt Law Firm of Birmingham, Alabama has nearly 70 years of experience handling personal injury accident cases, including cases involving drunk drivers. The attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients throughout the state of Alabama. To contact the Belt Law Firm, call toll free at 1-888-933-1514 or contact the firm through its Web site, Alabama-DUI-Victims.com, for a free consultation.

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