The holiday season is upon us! With Christmas and New Years Day right around the corner, many people will be celebrating with feasts, parties, and other gatherings with friends and family. Unfortunately, many people will continue to abuse drugs and alcohol during this time. Despite the many public announcements begging motorists to call a cab if they’ve had too much to drink, many people are still arrested for driving while intoxicated. Mixing drugs and alcohol with driving always has disastrous consequences.

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Every year there are hundreds thousands of car accidents in the USA, but only a few thousand involve drugs and alcohol. The holiday season places a lot of stress and anxiety on a number of people. For example, this 2004 article from ABC discusses some of the causes of stress and pressure during the holidays. Complicated family dynamics, visiting divorced parents, splitting time between different family members, and even the act of going from place to place can put an intense amount of pressure on family members. Other possible stressors discussed in the article include unrealistic expectations such as trying to lose weight in a short period of time and over spending on gifts and holiday related expenses. The pressure to make family gatherings fun, exciting, and “perfect” can even cause serious stress on those who are planning the events.

No one knows the exact reasons while people choose to drink and drive instead of calling a taxi or a sober driver. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention details tragic statistics for accidents in 2010. According to the post, there were 1.4 million drivers arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Drugs and alcohol were involved in 211 child passenger deaths ages 14 and younger. 131 of those 211 children who died were passengers in a car driven by an alcohol-impaired driver. The total number of people killed in crashes when one driver was impaired by drugs and/or alcohol was 10,228 in 2010.

According to this document from the National Highway & Transportation Safety Administration, an average of 36 people were killed on a regular day from 2001 until 2005, but an average of 45 people were killed on Christmas and 54 were killed on New Year’s Day. Impaired driving accidents accounted for 41% of total car accident fatalities on New Year’s Day from 2001 to 2005. Some people may take more drugs or alcohol during the holidays to cope with stress, while others believe they can only have fun if they’re drinking or drugging. Choosing to drink and drive not only puts the impaired person at risk – it also puts everyone else out on the road at risk. Don’t drink and drive. Happy holidays from your friends at Inspirations for Youth and Families.