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Increased Risk of Drunk Driving Accident on Independence Day

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,Due to an increased rate of drunk drivers on the road, the 4th of July is one of the deadliest holidays.

In 2012, Americans imbibed roughly 68 million cases of beer on Independence Day weekend. Not only is the Fourth stereotypically a weekend for afternoon parties, it is also a weekend in which many people go on vacation or a short road trip. These combined factors make the likelihood of getting into an accident with a drunk driver all the more likely. July 4th is the worst day of the year when it comes to fatal car accidents. Between 2007 and 2001, 40 percent of all highway fatalities were attributed to an alcohol-related crash that occurred on the 4th of July.

In order to mitigate the risk of drunk drivers, many states use sobriety checkpoints. Illinois is one of the 38 states in the U.S. that performs sobriety checkpoints on drivers, a practice that has different justifications for its legality depending on state rulings. Authority for such checkpoints in Illinois is found under federal law, given the state’s interpretation of the Constitution. There are only 12 states, then, that do not conduct them—Texas, for example, prohibits sobriety checkpoints based on its interpretation of the Constitution. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates that the state of Illinois conducts several hundred of these checkpoints every year, and Independence Day weekend is surely one of them.

There are several things you can do to avoid being in a dangerous situation such as this. The first is to plan ahead. If you are going to be drinking, choose a friend to be a designated driver — and make sure that he or she sticks with the plan. If that is not a possibility, plan to take public transportation, or call a taxi.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, get the license plate of the vehicle in question and report it immediately. The sooner police are alerted to a potentially dangerous situation, the better chance there will be that no one will get hurt. There’s another practical aspect as well: the average cost of DUI — including increased car insurance rates, fines, DMV fees, and general court costs — is anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a drunk driving accident, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Lake County accident attorney today.

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