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Drunk driving car accidents decline, but Jan. 1 still dangerous

It is always welcome news to hear that drunk driving accidents have declined in Missouri and across the country. However, this doesn't mean that the danger has diminished completely. In fact, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are two of the most dangerous holidays to be out on the road, along with St. Patrick's Day. Across the state of Missouri, there are more alcohol-related car accidents a few hours prior to midnight on New Year's Eve and several hours after on New Year's Day than any other single night.

To be more specific, there are about 70 percent more drug and alcohol-related car crashes between 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 than an average weekend night in Missouri. This averages out to be about 42 accidents. In 2012, there were 49 accidents where drugs or alcohol were the contributing factor.

According to data from the Highway Patrol, there were 270 deaths as a result of over 7,000 alcohol and drug-related accidents. While this seems like a significant amount, it is actually 25 percent less than a decade ago. Across the country, there were more than 10,000 deaths as a result of drunk driving in 2012, which was among the lowest record totals.

Death is often a tragic result of car accidents involving drugs or alcohol. When such an accident occurs in Missouri, the victim's family may be able to pursue financial redress from the party or parties deemed responsible. Financial compensation from a successfully presented claim may include funeral expenses, medical expenses, lost wages and other accident-related damages sustained.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Drunk driving accidents decline, but New Year's Eve still dangerous, Walker Moskop, Dec. 31, 2013

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