PKSD Newsletter: How Holiday Party Hosts Can Help Prevent Drunk Driving
The holidays affect individuals differently each year. Some are excited for the opportunity to celebrate with family and friends, while many others may feel lonely or depressed.
One thing is for sure: holiday parties and get-togethers often involve more drinking than other events during the year. Thanksgiving weekend is the deadliest holiday of the year, as there is a huge increase in drunk driving deaths. In 2017 alone, 528 people were killed in drunk driving crashes on Thanksgiving weekend.
This month’s edition of the PKSD Newsletter, You Should Know, discusses this disturbing trend and gives party hosts tips on helping to prevent guests from driving home drunk and potentially causing an accident.
Why There is More Drinking During the Holidays
While some people drink alcohol during the holidays to celebrate, others drink to try to cope with stress, anxiety, depression or isolation. These feelings could be brought on by feeling envious of what others post to the social media feeds during the holiday.
In some cases, the stress of being with extended family leads to drinking. There could also be social pressure from others at parties or simply because there is a culture of drinking at your work parties or parties with families.
Safety When Hosting a Holiday Party
If you are planning to host a holiday party this year, there are several steps you can take to discourage drunk driving and try to keep guests safe:
- Set a good example by not drinking excessively
- Provide food to slow the absorption of alcohol
- Consider putting away the alcohol about an hour and a half before the party stops
- Arrange rides for guests who look intoxicated
How You May Be Held Responsible for Drunk Driving Holiday Crashes
If you provide alcohol as a social host for a holiday party, it is possible that you could be held liable for a car accident caused by one of your guests if you:
- Serve a visibly intoxicated guest alcohol and he or she drives drunk and causes a crash that results in injuries or death
- Serve alcohol to a minor and he or she drives and causes an accident that leads to physical harm or death
Laws governing these kinds of situations are known as “Dram shop” laws and they vary by state. While these usually only apply to commercial venues, such as restaurants or bars, a social host can also be held liable in certain situations. In the case of serving a minor, there may also be criminal charges.
Contact a Trusted Attorney for Help
If you have been injured because of someone else’s drunk driving, we want to help.
At PKSD Law, you can contact us anytime, day or night, to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Milwaukee auto accident lawyers. If we represent you, there are no up-front attorney fees. Since we operate on contingency, we do not collect any money from you unless we recover damages on your behalf.