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New Year's among the deadliest days of the year on the roads

WBFO News File Photo

The early morning hours of New Year's Day can be a dangerous time on the roads as many partygoers head home after ringing in the new year. 

New Year's is typically one of the deadliest times on the roads, according to Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Rader says a big reason for that is alcohol.

"More than half of the deaths that occur on New Years day involve at least one driver with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher," notes Rader.

Visible police enforcement often deters people from driving under the influence, according to Rader.

Criminal defense Attorney Mary Beth DePasquale says a drunk driving charge can cost a person thousands of dollars.

"It's one of our most expensive criminal matters," states DePasquale, noting attorney fees, court fines and DMV penalties all add up.

DePasquale is with the Buffalo law firm of Tully Rinckey PLLC. She's also a former Erie County Assistant District Attorney.

DePasquale notes several disturbing trends among drunk drivers, including more frequent arrests for those combining alcohol with a prescription drug. She also notes a trend towards drunk drivers with children in the car which, she says, is an automatic felony.  Another trend she sees developing are drunk drivers who are combative with police officers.