During the holiday season, the celebrations can be marred by people choosing to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Auto accidents are often caused by a drunk driver and can lead to injuries and fatalities. This is true in New Mexico and across the United States. Law enforcement encourages people to designate a driver, to take a cab or use a ride sharing app to keep them from heading out on the road and running the risk of a drunk driving accident, especially after parties celebrating the new year. Still, people will choose to drink and drive. In New Mexico, this is a consistent problem not just on holidays, but throughout the year.
Research from Safewise says that New Mexico is fifth worst for drunk driving crashes per capita in the entire nation. The problem often stems from drivers believing they can drive safely despite having consumed alcohol. The New Mexico Department of Transportation says there were 107 fatal alcohol-related accidents with 152 people dying in 2019. That averages three deaths each week. Some accidents have drawn attention because young people were involved. In others, prominent public figures were in the car collisions due to alcohol.
One accident involved a country singer who was under the influence when she crashed into a 16-year-old. Both died. A state senator was arrested for DUI after a crash in which he hit a parked vehicle. He was convicted. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is imploring people to avoid driving after drinking. A spokesperson for MADD says that vehicle technology is improving as is the safety of vehicles overall, but people are still a variable. Drunk driving places others in jeopardy of an accident, with injuries and death oftentimes the result.
When there is a drunk driving accident, those who were injured could face hospitalization, medical costs, the inability to work and other issues. If there is a fatality, the family left behind must consider how they will deal with the unexpected and unnecessary loss. Victims may need to explore legal options after automobile accidents.