Drunk driving awareness month aimed at reducing Chicago car accidents, drunk driving accidents nationwide

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Raising awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs this holiday season, could reduce the number of serious and fatal Chicago car accidents.

The Chicago drunk driving accident lawyers and the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes have posted here and on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers blog about recent stepped-up enforcement efforts aimed at combating drunk driving and other holiday car accidents in the Chicago area and across the country.

In 2007, nearly 1,500 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Tie One On for Safety campaign joins increased enforcement by local law enforcement through the holiday season, including sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.

To show support, motorists are encouraged to tie a red ribbon on their antenna or display a window decal as a pledge to drive safe, sober and buckled up during the holidays and throughout the year. Red ribbons and red ribbon window decals are available by contacting your local MADD affiliate.

MADD encourages all drivers to obey the following safety tips:

-Designate a sober driver before celebrations begin.
-Never serve those under the age of 21 alcohol.
-Plan safe parties, including providing non-alcoholic drink options to guests and not serving alcohol the last hour of the gathering.
-Be prepared to get everyone home safe in case your plans or individual circumstances change.

Holidays bring increased risk of serious or fatal accidents on Illinois roads, according to 2008 statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation:

Memorial Day: 8 killed 726 injured in Fourth of July: 15 killed and 805 injured
Labor Day: 15 killed and 803 injured
Thanksgiving: 9 killed and 961 injured Christmas: 8 killed and 841 injured New Year’s: 10 killed and 575 injured
Last year, almost half — 44 percent — of fatally injured Illinois drivers tested positive for alcohol. Forty percent of all Illinois traffic fatalities in 2008 occurred in the 5 county area around Chicago.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed in an accident, the Chicago drunk driving accident attorneys and the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.