When Is Drunk Driving the Worst in Las Vegas?

Drunk driving can affect motorists at any time of the year, but there is a spike in accidents, fatalities, and DUIs during the holidays. This dangerous window begins just before Thanksgiving and lasts through the New Year’s holiday as events and parties take place and an increased number of visitors make their way to Las Vegas to celebrate. More people, more alcohol, and more distractions can simply be a recipe for disaster, especially on Las Vegas roadways during this busy time of year.


Las Vegas Alcohol Laws

A group of people with glasses of alcohol at a party Aside from gambling, few alcohol laws are one of the major draws to the city for some people. For example, public drinking is legal within Las Vegas city limits for the most part. There is no official alcohol purchasing cut-off time like there is in surrounding states. However, when it comes to drinking and operating a vehicle, Las Vegas has strict laws that drivers must adhere to. According to the Nevada Department of Vehicles, the Las Vegas alcohol laws define drunk driving as “the operation of a vehicle by a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legally defined threshold constitutes an offense of impaired driving.” The legal alcohol limit in Las Vegas is .08 for motorists and .04 for commercial drivers – a fact our bus accident lawyers are all too familiar with. The number of cited Las Vegas DUI charges surges during the holidays as drivers get behind the wheel (even when their blood alcohol content is well above the legal stipulations).


Times of the Year When Drunk Driving Is High

While accidents caused by impaired or drunk driving occur year-round, there is a spike in alcohol-related collisions and fatalities during the final two months of the calendar year. A steering wheel and windshield with a view of bokeh lights in the dark

Drunk Driving During the Holidays

Las Vegas drivers are at an increased risk of encountering drunk drivers year-round, but these threats increase during the holidays. According to a three-year study conducted by an auto insurance company, Las Vegas was the worst city in the entire country for drunk driving. This is in part due to accidents that take place from Thanksgiving through the New Year.

Drunk Driving During/After Events

Hundreds of events take place throughout the city during the holiday months. While some of these events do not necessarily impact drunk driving numbers, plenty do. Many popular shows occur in hotels all along the strip and throughout the city. These shows cause increased traffic numbers and often serve alcohol. Holiday-specific events like the Immersive Nutcracker and Glittering Lights will also see higher numbers of motorists on the road. Where there is increased traffic, there is an increased chance of encountering an impaired driver. Lastly, holiday traditions and adult beverages in downtown Las Vegas draw crowds. The ice rink, winter wonderland display, holiday experience at the park, and Flamingo and LINQ promenade also increase the potential risk of drunk driving-related incidents.


Ways to Stay Safe

Las Vegas strip at night with lights While there is no foolproof way to guarantee safety when traveling on Las Vegas roadways, the city takes measures to ensure motorists get to their destinations safely and avoid potential hazards presented by drunk drivers. In recent years, the city of Las Vegas law enforcement has worked to crack down on impaired driving. They also warn drivers to take extra precautions as they navigate city roadways during these peak times.

Avoiding Drunk Driving in Vegas

In an attempt to reduce the number of Las Vegas drunk drivers operating vehicles throughout the city, the Las Vegas police set up checkpoints and add patrol units to each shift starting a few days before the Thanksgiving holiday that last through the end of New Year’s festivities. By taking these additional steps, first responders are hoping to discourage drunk driving and decrease the number of Las Vegas drunk driver accidents during the holiday months. Efforts have also increased to harshly punish offenders, as impaired driving poses inherent risks to all on the city’s roadways.

What Precautions Can You Take?

While motorists do not necessarily have control over what other drivers do before getting behind the wheel, drivers can take certain precautions to avoid drunk drivers—particularly in Las Vegas. First, avoid driving if at all possible during the evenings and nights when parties and events are commonplace. New Year’s Eve is the most obvious night to avoid driving on. Furthermore, avoiding high-traffic areas can help reduce encounters with drunk drivers. In Las Vegas, the strip sees a high number of visitors during the holidays, so staying off of it if at all possible is wise. Constantly being on the lookout for motorists who are drunk in Vegas enjoying the party scene is the second thing drivers can do to avoid drunk driving threats. Signs that a person may be operating a vehicle while intoxicated include:
  • Cars making wide, abrupt, or illegal turns and maneuvers
  • Cars weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling a painted center line
  • Cars narrowly avoiding contact with other vehicles
  • Cars driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Cars responding to traffic signals or signs at irrational times
  • Vehicles randomly braking for no apparent reason
Again, there is no guaranteed method to prevent a drunk driver from hitting you, but remaining vigilant or staying off the roads altogether during holiday nights are good practices to implement.


Injured By a Las Vegas Drunk Driver?

If you or a loved one are involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver in Las Vegas, you should take necessary steps to ensure your best interests are protected and justice is served. During these gut-wrenching times after a drunk driving incident, it is crucial to have someone on your side fighting for you. Our team of SJW Injury Attorneys is made up of experienced and proven lawyers who have successfully handled drunk driving cases in Las Vegas. If a drunk driver injured you, our team will diligently work to help you obtain fair compensation for the damage they caused. We offer free consultations for victims of drinking and driving-related incidents, call us or contact us online to talk with a Las Vegas drunk driver lawyer near you today.