With the holidays, there is always the danger that some Kentucky residents will drink and drive. Every year across the U.S., there are hundreds of DUI-related crashes around the holidays. Unfortunately, the Fourth of July has the worst fatality rate of around 42 deaths per day. Second is Memorial Day (39.5), followed by Labor Day (38.1), New Year's (31.7), Thanksgiving (27.9) and Christmas (27.7).
NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System recorded 1,192 drunk driving deaths on Independence Day between 2010 and 2017. In those eight years, there were 1,105 such deaths on Memorial Day. FARS reported 184 such deaths on the Fourth of July weekend in 2017. Overall, there was a 57% increase in DUI fatality risk on 2017's Independence Day.
If the Fourth of July lands on a weekday, the fatality rate averages 43.4. A weekend Fourth of July comes to an average of just 36.3. Worst of all is for the holiday to fall on a Wednesday, which has a fatality rate of 52.
Those arrested for DUI offenses can face a 90-day license suspension and fines amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. An offender may face up to one year in jail, even if they are first-time offenders.
When a drunk driver causes a car crash, they will face more than criminal charges. Their auto insurance company may face a personal injury claim, and they themselves could ultimately have to pay out in punitive damages. Someone who intends to file a claim should know that they can sue for punitive damages only in cases when a driver was engaging in willful misconduct. With help from a lawyer, a crash victim could discover how much they are eligible for.