What Holiday Has the Most Drunk Driving Crashes?

Drunk driving causes more than 10,000 deaths every year. The holiday season is especially dangerous. Between 2010 and 2018, drunk drivers caused over 6,000 fatal accidents during the holidays.

Approximately every 2 minutes, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash. DUI-related deaths for fall and winter 2021 are projected to be over 3,800.

If you’re injured by a drunk driver, seek legal advice immediately. A skilled auto accident attorney can help protect your rights and ensure you receive proper compensation from the insurance company for your injuries and other damages.

At Cofman Townsley, our St. Louis car accident lawyers have more than 50 years of experience in filing drunk driving lawsuits, and we’ll fight for you to get compensation for your injuries.

What’s Considered Drunk Driving?

There were over 11,800 DUI arrests in Missouri in 2018. In Missouri, a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher for those aged 21 or older is considered legally drunk. If you’re under 21, the BAC limit is 0.02. If you’re at or above these levels while driving, you’re legally defined as a drunk driver.

Holidays with the Most Crashes

Nationally, Halloween and New Year’s Eve have the highest number of drunk driving accidents of all cold-weather holidays.


Many people host Halloween parties, and while Halloween is all about the candy for children, it’s considered a big drinking holiday for adults. In the US, 44% of fatal crashes on Halloween involve a drunk driver.

The nature of this holiday puts more pedestrians at risk. Children and their parents are out walking on the streets in the dark. Pedestrians hit by drunk drivers account for 14% of fatal car accidents on Halloween.

Young adults aged 21-34 years made up 62% of all drunk driving fatalities on Halloween in 2019.


Thanksgiving is considered to be the third-most dangerous holiday for drunk driving crashes. 21% of fatal drunk driving crashes occur during Thanksgiving. The extended length of the holiday weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, is a contributing factor. Many people travel by road for Thanksgiving, increasing the likelihood of car accidents.

It’s common to consume a lot of alcohol the evening before Thanksgiving. People even refer to this time as Drinksgiving or “Blackout Wednesday” because people are home for the holiday and catching up at bars with friends.

Alcohol consumption is also a big part of Thanksgiving day. Many people enjoy drinking beer during the afternoon football games, followed by wine paired with the Thanksgiving meal.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve:

Fewer drunk driving crashes occur on Christmas Day than other major holidays. However, these crashes spike in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

People are attending holiday parties with friends where drinking is involved. On top of that, there’s more traffic on the road than usual as people travel by car to visit family and friends. Drunk drivers account for 40% of fatal accidents between Christmas and New Year.

New Year’s Eve is the deadliest day of the year, with DUIs spiking 129% over the average. It’s no surprise, since most people celebrate this holiday by drinking champagne and other alcoholic beverages into the early morning. Based on previous years’ statistics, the National Safety Council estimates that 384 people will die on the roads this coming New Year in drunk driving crashes.

Super Bowl Sunday:

While not an officially recognized holiday, it is in our hearts! Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most common days people get DUIs. People attend parties and consume alcohol without a plan to get home safely. Drunk driving violations occur 22% more on Superbowl Sunday than other Sundays.

Though not as deadly as Halloween or New Year, Super Bowl Sunday is a risky time to be on the roads.

What to Do if You’re Involved in a Crash

While the holidays can be a great time of year to celebrate with loved ones and friends, they can also be a deadly time to be on the road. Drunk driving crashes can ruin your holiday plans and turn the festive mood sour.

It’s never okay to drink and drive. If you’ve been injured due to a drunk driver in Missouri, consider hiring one of our experienced car accident lawyers at Cofman Townsley.  We’ve won more than $300 million for clients just like you. 

Don’t suffer through injuries sustained from a drunk driving accident alone. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation. Our legal team will handle your case with compassion and help get you the financial restitution you deserve.