DUI statistics during the holidays are rather sobering. According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), alcohol is blamed for 52% of fatal collisions on Christmas and 57% on New Years, compared to 41% on other days of the year. It is predicted that there will be more than 1,200 alcohol-related deaths during this time period and the CDC estimates that more than 25,000 people will be injured.
Since MADD was founded in 1980, the number of drunk driving deaths has decreased by 50%, but the numbers are still daunting. In the continuing attempt to curb these unnecessary tragedies, the National Safety Board just made the recommendation last week that DUI laws are toughened up in all 50 states by requiring ignition interlock systems be installed in the car of every first-time offender! There are currently only 17 states that require this preventive measure. MADD is also working hard in the state of Texas to get this law passed now. An ignition interlock device disables the car if the driver has any alcohol on their breath. And, the San Antonio Police Department is also asking Texas lawmakers to allow permanent DUI checkpoints across the state to help cut down on dangerous drivers.
The most reasonable solution to this issue is to not drink and drive! Remember that the average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour. The faster you drink, the faster the alcohol accumulates in the body which results in high BAC levels. The only thing that can truly sober you up is time. Drinking coffee, exercising or cold showers don’t really work. MADD suggests that during the holiday party-going season everyone designate a sober driver before going out for the evening (not after everyone has had a couple drinks). If you are a host, never serve anyone under 21 years of age, include non-alcoholic drinks on your menu and stop serving alcohol 1 hour prior to the end of the party.
If you do get caught driving under the influence this holiday season, your life will change dramatically. Expect your license to be suspended for a period of time, huge legal fees for lawyers to represent to you, fines, community service work and enrollment in alcohol education classes to be levied your way. All of this will keep you busy and most likely interfere with the amount of time you are putting into work, school or family life. One way to lighten the load a bit is to take your court mandated DUI class online instead of in a classroom. Quality online alcohol education classes are available in lengths ranging from 8 – 24 hours. First get approval for a distance learning class from your judge. Then it is easy to enroll in a class from any web-based computer and you are on your way to completing your requirement. Once you enroll, you can finish the class at your own pace. If you have an upcoming deadline, you can spend the entire weekend learning the material. Upon successfully passing the multiple-choice final exam with a 70% or better, a Certificate of Completion will be mailed out to you. This certificate is the official proof you need to show the court system that you fulfilled the requirement. So, if you become a DUI offender and find yourself in the position of needing to take an alcohol class, take it online today!