Though most people in New Jersey celebrate the Fourth of July by barbecuing, watching fireworks and swimming in the pool, some may choose to drink and drive. The number of people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs during Independence Day makes it the deadliest holiday for DUI fatalities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 1,182 fatalities due to DUI on the Fourth of July between 2010 and 2017. On the average summer day in 2017, 26.1 people lost their lives due to DUI while 40.1 lost their lives due to a fatal car accident from a DUI on the Fourth of July. Data from FARS also indicated that the number of fatalities increased in years where the Fourth of July fell during the midweek.
Memorial Day had the second-highest DUI fatalities rate with an average of 39.5. Christmas had the lowest rate with an average of 27.7 DUI fatalities. Researchers hope that making people aware of the risk of driving a vehicle on the holiday will decrease the risk of fatalities occurring. Many states are increasing traffic stops during the holiday in order to screen vehicles for drunk drivers.
Though New Jersey courts have strict consequences for those who choose to drive under the influence, there are many people who still choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. When an individual drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she may cause a car accident that results in costly medical bills, lost wages and death. Drivers who cause an accident may have behaved negligently and may be responsible for damages. In this case, a lawyer may be able to help a family member who lost a loved one on the Fourth of July by filing a civil suit. If negligence can be proven, the family might receive financial help.