Dangerous Holidays for Drunk-Driving Accidents 

Posted: April 10, 2023

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motor-vehicle travel can be a dangerous on major holidays. 


The year-end holiday season, when many people travel by car, often when drunk, and roads are more congested, is an especially risky time on the nation’s roads. 

New Year’s Drunk-Driving Statistics 

December’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), educates drivers about the dangers of drunk driving. Every day in the United States, 32 people die because someone drives drunk. 

The year-end holiday season is especially dangerous. More than 200 people died over the 2020 New Year’s and Christmas periods.  

New Year’s Holiday Estimate 

The NSC has estimated how many fatalities will happen because of accidents every year on major holidays. Those estimates offer a revealing comparison of the holidays based on how risky drunk drivers make the nation’s roads.  


Comparing holidays for impaired motoring isn’t a perfect science, because the nation’s holidays vary in duration depending on when they fall. Though some holidays, such as Labor Day, always span the same number of days, the Christmas and New Year’s holidays can last anywhere from 30 hours (if falling on a Wednesday) to 102 hours (if December 25 or January 1 is on a Tuesday or Thursday). 

For the 2022-2023 holiday year, the NSC projected 408 traffic fatalities for New Year’s 2023, which fell on a Sunday, making the holiday about three days long.  

Which Holiday Has the Most Drunk-Driving Fatalities? 

According to the NHTSA:

  • more than 40 percent of the nearly 1,400 drivers killed in motor-vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday between were drunk, and 
  • more than 800 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver during the Thanksgiving holiday from 2016 to 2020. 

The end-of-year holiday season is also notorious for serious crashes involving drugs or alcohol, according to NHTSA. In December 2020, 937 people died in crashes with an impaired driver. 

New York Measures to get Dangerous Drivers Off the Road  

As part of the National DWI Crackdown, New York State Police issued 32,934 tickets and arrested 453 people for impaired driving during a multi-week period starting Dec. 14, 2022, and ending Jan. 1, 2023. 


As part of the crackdown, state police also targeted speeding and aggressive driving, issuing 11,305 tickets for speeding, 912 for distracted driving, 916 for seatbelt violations, and 316 for violating the “Move Over Law. Generally speaking, under New York’s “Move Over Law,” a driver must slow down and move over a lane if safe to do so when approaching certain vehicles on certain roads. The law is contained in Section 1144-A of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. 

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney 

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, contact William Mattar, P.C. Our personal injury attorneys can help you receive maximum compensation after a drunk-driving accident. Fill out the form on our website to schedule a free initial consultation, or call (844) 444-4444 to speak to a team member. We are available 24/7 to take your call.  

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