Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in New Jersey, as anywhere else, and can lead to fatal car accidents. Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it appears that DUI-related fatality rates are their highest on the Fourth of July than during any other major U.S. holiday. From 2010 to 2017, a total of 1,192 people died in DUI crashes on the Fourth of July.
The second deadliest holiday is Memorial Day with 1,105 people dying on this day between 2010 and 2017. This was followed by Labor Day, New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, the Fourth of July is not just deadly when compared to other holidays; it’s also deadly when compared to the rest of the summer season. In 2017, 184 people died during the Fourth of July weekend. In an equivalent four- or five-day span of summer days, the average came out as 117 deaths.
When Independence Day falls on a weekday; it’s deadlier with an average of 43.4 DUI fatalities per day. The weekend average is 36.3. Wednesday is the worst of all with the average coming out to 52. Drivers should remember that the consequences of DUI are extensive. They include fines, a 90-day license suspension and up to one year in jail for first-time offenders.
When a drunk driver causes a crash, the victims may be able to seek compensation under personal injury law. Since New Jersey is a no-fault state, only those who suffer a permanent injury or disability can file a third-party insurance claim. This comes after they file with their own auto insurance carrier. The process can be difficult because auto insurance companies normally have a team of lawyers to argue against personal injury claims, so victims may want their own attorney on the case.