New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated in a June 28 press release that law enforcement agencies in the Empire State would be stepping up their efforts to combat drunk driving over the upcoming Independence Day holiday period. The Governor likely made the decision because the Fourth of July is the most dangerous federal holiday for drunk driving accidents each year.
Over the 2018 Fourth of July period, the New York State police investigated 165 accidents involving impaired drivers and arrested 216 motorists for getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher. Those drunk driving crashes claimed four lives and left 244 road users injured. Around the country, drunk driving accidents on the Fourth of July resulted in 1,192 fatalities between 2010 and 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Accident fatalities tend to be higher in the summer because more Americans take to the roads, but the Fourth of July is particularly dangerous. The chances of being killed in a drunk driving accident are 57% higher on Independence Day than they are on comparable summer days. The risk is even higher when the holiday falls during the workweek. A per-day average of 43.4 road users are killed in DUI-related accidents when the nation celebrates its birthday on a weekday. However, that figure falls to 36.3 fatalities per day when the Fourth of July holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday.
Governor Cuomo’s press release reveals that being convicted of DWI in New York costs drivers an average of $10,000. Unfortunately, many lack the funds needed to make restitution to the road users they injure. In such situations, an experienced personal injury attorney could file a car accident lawsuit against a drunk driver’s insurance company or take legal action to place liens against their assets.