GJEL Accident Attorneys Encourages Party Goers to Select Designated Drivers During 2010 Holidays

ORINDA, Calif. (Dec. 28, 2010) – Holidays are the season to celebrate at office parties, in friends’ homes, and with family; with these celebrations there’s a natural temptation to drink and drive.

Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen (GJEL Accident Attorneys, a catastrophic injury and wrongful death law firm in the San Francisco Bay area, encourages party goers to enjoy themselves alongside a designated driver instead of drinking and driving.

“We encourage safety on the roadways and the biggest assurance of that is to never get behind the wheel of a vehicle when drinking,” said Andy Gillin, managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys. “Celebrate safely and ask a designated driver to be the responsible motorist.”

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is increasing its emphasis on safety this holiday season, too, with arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) on the rise over major holiday weekends. According to the CHP, Thanksgiving weekend in November 2010 saw 1,420 DUI arrests in California–an 8 percent increase over 2009 figures (1,315).

This holiday season, 41 counties in California (98 percent of the state) are participating in the “Avoid” program. The highway patrol and municipal police departments are cracking down on impaired drivers and are encouraging drivers to dial “911” to report a motorist driving under the influence.

The CHP’s increased emphasis on safety at the holidays appears to be helping make the state’s roadways safer. During 2009 Christmas and New Year’s weekends combined, alcohol-related car accidents accounted for approximately 20 percent of all injuries (850) and fatalities (36). This represents a considerably lower percentage of overall auto accident fatalities than California’s annual average of 30 percent.

Some major cities in the state, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, are offering free rides home for New Year’s Eve partiers. GJEL encourages residents of these metro areas to take advantage of these free-ride programs and remain safe as they ring in 2011.

About GJEL Accident Attorneys
Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen (GJEL Accident Attorneys) is a San Francisco Bay Area personal injury law firm established in 1972. The firm representing plaintiffs injured in California auto accidents and wrongful death cases, and was recently named one of the best law firms in America by US News & World Report.