As I wrote last week, holiday weekends inevitably carry an increased risk of car accidents and other holiday-related injuries. While this holds true for 2010, there were fortunately no fatal car accidents in the Bay Area over Thanksgiving weekend, a marked improvement over last year, when five people were killed in their cars.
Sadly, this good news comes along with some bad news. This year, holiday DUI arrests spiked to nearly 250, a 20 percent increase from last year’s total of 207. Statewide, DUI arrests totaled 1,420, an 8 percent increase from last year’s total of 1,315.
While it is fortunate that the DUI incidents did not lead to injuries or deaths, it is troubling that the Bay Area witnessed such a marked uptick in drunk drivers. While the holidays carry with them the potential for dangerous road conditions, and distractions from gaudy decorations or handheld technology, DUIs are permanently avoidable if drivers simply decide to wait until they get home to have that last drink.
Holiday-related injuries and DUIs can be expected to continue throughout the holiday season, so be careful for dangerous road conditions, mall mishaps, fires, and burns. And take note that California police officers are cracking down on drunk drivers. So never get into your car unless you are completely sober and confident you will reach your destination safely.
Photo credit: James Cridland