Drunk During Spring Break—A Harmful Combination
Every year, companies put out marketing campaigns for spring break. This week-long vacation can be a lot of fun for students, but it can also bring danger in the form of increased drinking. Sometimes, students choose to get behind the wheel after drinking. Other drivers can’t always avoid a wreck with a drunk and relatively inexperienced driver.
Car accident-related injuries can lead to long-term issues and can financially devastate accident victims. An attorney cannot undo the damage, but seeking out an attorney’s help can put you on the path to physical and financial recovery.
What Are the Risks of Heavy Drinking?
While people tend to have a pleasant time when drinking alcohol, too much can become worrisome. Large amounts of alcohol can be detrimental to a person’s health. Researchers have found an association between binge drinking and chronic health issues like liver and heart disease. A high intake of alcohol may also affect breathing and the body’s ability to regulate temperature.
College-aged students are also at risk of harming their still-developing brains by engaging in heavy drinking. Experts have taken MRIs of the brains of young adults who engage in heavy drinking, and the results revealed damaged nerve tissue. A person can experience memory and attention problems because of this damage. Higher consumption may also cause movement and coordination impairment.
Binge and heavy drinking can also lead to physical harm. The American Addiction Centers reports 696,000 college students are assaulted by others who are under the influence of alcohol every year. People of all ages get behind the wheel while intoxicated, and college students are far from the exception. They can harm themselves or others.
What Demographic Is Most at Risk?
When it comes to spring break, students at multiple levels of education celebrate the week-long escape from classes. College students account for most of the people who drink during spring break. The age range for the majority of college partygoers is between 18 and 24.
The American Addiction Centers has found that approximately 44 percent of college women are under the influence of alcohol during spring break. Around 75 percent of college men find themselves intoxicated during the week. Thus, young adults are more likely to experience an alcohol-related injury or cause an alcohol-related crash than adults in other age groups.
While any adult may engage in dangerous drinking behaviors, college-aged people are more likely to engage in two particular forms of dangerous drinking. The first is binge drinking. Binge drinking is when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol over a relatively short time. For women, this means four or more beverages in two hours. For men, it means five or more drinks over two hours. The second type of dangerous drinking behavior many college-aged consumers engage in is heavy drinking. The CDC considers heavy drinking to be when women consume eight or more drinks per week and men consume 15 or more drinks per week.
A student’s choice of vacation destination may influence them to drink. About 40 percent of students travel to Florida or Texas for spring break. A popular tourist location is in Miami Beach, Florida. Panama City Beach also draws in thousands of college students a year. Many people travel to South Padre Island in Texas, as well.
Drink and Driving Can Lead to Car Accidents
Roughly 30 percent of college students have driven while under the influence of alcohol. Car crashes can lead to serious harm. Victims of a vehicle crash caused by an intoxicated driver have the right to seek compensation for their accident-related damages. The injured person can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or can file a lawsuit against the drunk driver. In most cases, the injured person has a certain amount of time to file a claim. Each state has its own deadline. A lawyer can gather the necessary evidence and ensure the victim receives a fair settlement.
Drunk Driving and Pedestrian Accidents
Car wrecks don’t always involve a second vehicle. According to the CDC, an estimated 137,000 pedestrians go to the emergency room to be treated for nonfatal crash injuries each year. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than vehicle passengers to suffer an injury in a collision. Drinking and driving can mean trouble for pedestrians due to the intoxicated driver’s slower reaction time and other impaired cognitive abilities.
If you were in a pedestrian accident because of drunk driving, seek immediate medical care. The cost of treatment may vary. To treat a traumatic brain injury, for example, a person may need to spend anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month.
If the driver caused the accident, the pedestrian can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Victims can also choose to file a lawsuit to seek additional compensation for their accident-related damages. Representation by an experienced attorney will provide the best possible outcome.
Getting Help From an Attorney
Spring break is an exciting time for many students. College kids are likely to increase their consumption of alcohol during this week. They are an at-risk group when it comes to getting into vehicle accidents during spring break.
If you feel stressed over financial and personal losses due to a collision with a drunk driver, you do not have to suffer alone. A lawyer can negotiate a better settlement than what the other party’s insurance will offer you. Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will owe no money upfront.
Contact a DUI accident lawyer near you for a free consultation and to get the justice you deserve.