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Driving Dangers in Louisiana During Holiday Celebrations

Posted By Duck Law Firm, LLC || 24-Dec-2015

Southern Louisiana is known to be a party hotspot in the country, if not the world. From Lafayette to New Orleans, Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations can get rowdy and raucous, with people left and right imbibing in an alcoholic beverage or two. Or three. With such an extensive amount of partying going on around the holidays, is it any surprise than 1,000+ people are arrested for an operating while intoxicated (OWI) – or what many other states would call a DUI or DWI – violation in Lafayette Parish every year?

Some people blame the “party mindset” of Southern Louisiana for not reprimanding drunk drivers harshly enough. Others even believe the nature of the parishes there encourage drunk driving. No matter the true cause, the results are deadly. Out of all the parishes in Louisiana, Lafayette has been ranked as the fourth most dangerous for at least five years in a row, according to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Traffic related fatalities in Lafayette, many of which may have included drunk drivers:

  • 29 (2010)
  • 25 (2011)
  • 29 (2012)
  • 38 (2013)
  • 31 (2014)

(A full statistical report, including infographics, has been compiled and presented by the NHSTA here.)

Holiday Buzzkills

Part of the issue with drunk drivers in Southern Louisiana, and all across the world, might be rooted to the fact that they do not know their own limit. In the holiday season, it is easy to quickly lose track of how many beverages you have consumed and push yourself dangerously close or beyond not only the legal limit but also the safe limit.

According to an online survey conducted by The Daily Advertiser, a popular news source that is part of the USA Today Network, in 2014, 24% of respondents had no idea where their own limit lied. Another 48% said they were unsure, which is essentially the same as not knowing at all. Despite not knowing if they were safe to drive, 30% of those surveyed said their go-to solution to get home when intoxicated was to drive themselves, and more than half of all respondents admitted to driving drunk either often or infrequently. It may be assumed that this percentage should be higher, as people are likely to cast themselves in a better light, even during anonymous surveys.

(The full news story may be read here.)

Smart Solutions Right in Your Pocket

What can you do if you are attending a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party this year and find yourself at the receiving end of one too many shots? The answer is so simple yet so underutilized: call a cab. According to the same survey conducted by The Daily Advertiser, an astonishingly-small 3% of all respondents called a cab to get home when they were drunk at a party.

In today’s day and age, that number is inexcusably low. Nearly everyone has a smartphone or knows someone who does. Just a few clicks and you can look up the number of a cab company and have someone pick you up and deliver you home, safe and sound. Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are also available in Lafayette Parish; in fact, many new smart phones come with the Uber app preinstalled, just for use in such scenarios. (Visit Uber’s site for information on how to schedule a ride through their services: https://www.uber.com/cities/lafayette-la.)

Popular cab services in the greater Lafayette Parish area include:

  1. Bridge City Taxi: 337-332-3855
  2. Dixie Cab: 337-237-3333
  3. Courtesy Taxi & Transportation, LLC: 337-577-9638

It is also recommended you browse the Yellow Pages for more taxi companies: http://www.yellowpages.com/lafayette-la/taxis.

Help in the Worst Case Scenario

The statistics of the past do not promise too much good for the future in Southern Louisiana. Our helpful and experienced professionals here at Duck Law Firm, LLC encourage you to always drive safely, responsibly, and defensively to do the most you can to avoid a dangerous car accident with an intoxicated driver this holiday season. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop a collision with such a negligent motorist, though. In such cases, we are here to help you. Call (337) 660-2699 to connect with our Lafayette personal injury attorney and request a free case evaluation today.

Categories: Car Accident, Helpful Tips
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