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3 facts about holiday drunk driving accidents

With the holiday season upon us, partygoers are likely to consume alcoholic beverages when they attend Christmas parties and New Year's Eve festivities. Those revelers pose a risk to others on the roadways when they choose to drink and drive. The accidents these drunk drivers cause can result in catastrophic injuries.

If you are one of the victims of these preventable accidents that occur during the winter holiday season, you will want to seek compensation. Consider these three facts about drunk driving accidents.

More travel means more drunk drivers

While the deadliest day of the year for drunk driving accidents is the July 4 holiday, there are many more travelers on the roads from Thanksgiving through the New Year's holiday. This season coincides with celebrations and parties of all sorts, many of which include alcohol.

Social drinking is often associated with the uptick in drunk driving charges during this period. While a drunk driving accident is a tragedy at any time of the year, the horrible effects of this type of accident can seem amplified during the holiday season. Catastrophic injuries might mean that the victim is in the hospital or unable to spend time with loved ones during the holidays.

Criminal charges don't prevent civil cases

Many people think that because a person is facing criminal charges for drunk driving that they can't face civil penalties for the same incident. This isn't at all true. It's possible for drunk drivers to be convicted of criminal charges - with punishments ranging from loss of driving privileges and fines to imprisonment - and also get judgments against them in civil cases.

While incarceration is not a possible penalty for a civil case, defendants could wind up having to pay monetary damages to the plaintiffs. Victims can seek compensation for medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages and other damages.

California drivers are a bit safer

The good news for California residents is that the rate of drunk driving fatalities in this state is a bit lower than the national rate. The death rate from drunk driving accidents is 3.3 people per 100,000 nationwide. That rate is 2:100,000 in California.

This doesn't include the number of injuries in these accidents, so don't let the rates fool you. Drunk driving accidents are still far too commonplace, so victims can send a message to lawbreakers who make the choice to drink and drive and wind up harming others.

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