Sober Days for the Holidays

Thanksgiving and Holiday DUI Resource Center

This time of year, everyone seems to be dusting off old traditions as they begin to celebrate the holiday season. There is, of course, lots of family and friends, complete with turkey and all the fixings. Next comes ugly sweater parties, white elephant gift exchanges, company events, mistletoe and eggnog, and perhaps a Die Hard viewing. Finally, the year concludes with the ball dropping in Times Square.

Unfortunately, there are also other, darker traditions to this season: increases in drunk driving and alcohol misuse.

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day sees a dramatic increase in DUI offenses and other alcohol-related issues. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Share our Holiday Drinking and DUI infographic to raise awareness and help change these trends. The resources below provide more information on holiday drinking data and tips to help support sobriety this season.


Drinking & DUIs During the Holidays

The Impact of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Drinking

Updated for 2017, this infographic highlights the alarming increase in DUI offenses and alcohol-related issues during the holiday season. Help change the trend through awareness and vigilance this holiday season—forward this infographic to your colleagues, share it with your alcohol clients, or print and post it in your office.

Download (8.5" x 11" PDF)

Download (11" x 17" PDF)

Download (JPG)

Share the Infogrpahic:

SCRAM CAM Programs Are Making a Difference

The stats are sobering: Drunk drivers are responsible for 40% of highway deaths that occur during the holiday season (Blackout Wednesday to January 2). The spikes in highway travel and drunk driving during this season make for a deadly combination:

  • In 2016, 43.5 million Americans took a road tip over the Thanksgiving holiday and a record-high 103 million people hit the roads between Christmas and New Year’s
  • 16% of adults say they drink more than usual during the holidays
  • 51% of high-risk drunk drivers report feeling they drank more between Thanksgiving and New Year’s compared to the rest of the year

SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring is helping communities address alcohol-impaired driving during the holidays. More than 90% of high-risk drunk drivers supervised with SCRAM said that their monitoring helped them stay sober during the holidays. Learn more about how SCRAM CAM is driving compliance, accountability, and assessment in drunk and impaired driving programs across the country.

Images for Facebook and Twitter

Click below to download graphics to share on your social accounts, and check back for new graphics as the season continues. 

DUI Program Checklist

Monitor, 24/7, the ones you’re most concerned about, and talk with your SCRAM CAM provider or program manager about any additional needs you have during the holiday period.

  1. Share data about the increases in binge drinking and DUIs.
  2. Remind your alcohol clients of the consequences for violations. If they’re monitored, they will be caught.
  3. Talk about alternatives to drinking when it comes to dealing with money, family, temptations, and other holiday stress (see resources below).
  4. Monitor, 24/7, the ones you’re most concerned about.
  5. Extend current monitoring periods through January 1, when violations rise 98%.
  6. Talk to your SCRAM CAM provider or program manager about any additional needs you have to help manage your alcohol offenders during the holidays.

Download Checklist

Change the Trend

Every year, families around the country have their holiday joy shattered by drunk driving. Share these stories to drive awareness and change the trend on holiday DUIs and alcohol-involved crashes.

Managing the Holidays Without Alcohol

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is meant to be a joyous time to celebrate with family and friends. Yet many of those celebrations include alcohol, and for those who are abstaining from alcohol, parties and gatherings can be especially challenging. In addition, visitors, family gatherings, extra expenses, and end-of-year pressures at work can lead to additional stress—and urges to drink.

But it is possible to enjoy the holidays alcohol-free:

  • Find a favorite non-alcoholic drink and don’t be afraid to ask for it. People who don’t imbibe can feel left out of the party when it comes to drink choices, but there are plenty of options that say “celebration” without the booze:
  • Start new traditions or look for new ways to celebrate. If past holidays involved alcohol, doing the same activities can trigger a desire to drink. Creating a new, alcohol-free tradition can support your sobriety and keep you on the right path.
  • Identify potential sources of holiday stress and make a plan to cope—without a drink. Good options include exercise, taking time for yourself, and talking with a supportive friend or professional.
  • Embrace being the designated driver. Make your sobriety a gift to your friends and family by ensuring they get home safely after a celebration. 

Plan Ahead for a Safe and Sober Ride

Law enforcement agencies across the country will be running roadside sobriety checkpoints throughout the holiday season, including the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign organized by NHTSA. Here are some simple steps to get home safely from your holiday party or gathering:

  • Plan ahead! Don’t wait until you start drinking to figure out how you’re getting home.
  • Add contact information for local cab companies or car services into your phone or keep it handy. Many companies even offer special fares during some holidays, so check ahead.
  • Download and pre-populate your information for ride-sharing apps to make it easy to hail a ride at the end of the evening.
  • Identify a Designated Driver for the evening and STICK WITH IT.
  • Have options! Plans can change, so identify a back-up plan for a sober ride home before you leave for the night.

Holiday Alcohol and Driving Safety Resources

Check back through the holiday season as we update with more data, resources, and information on holiday drinking and driving.