The Biggest DUI Holidays: 5 Holiday Drunk Driving Statistics You Should Know About


The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated days of the year.

It’s also one of the most dangerous.

As friends and family flock back home for a long weekend of sharing old memories and making new ones, Grand Rapids-area bars and restaurants prepare for a bustling midweek rush. The Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving is often tabbed as the biggest bar night of the year. Fortunately, this means a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends. Unfortunately, this also means a significantly higher risk of DUI (driving under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated) charges in Grand Rapids.

Holidays are for fun, family and friendship — and I want to help you enjoy each of those joys to the fullest. In this blog post, I’ll share information about the 5 most dangerous days for DUIs/OWIs — and how you can avoid them.

The most dangerous days for OWIs in Michigan

Since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, drunk driving rates have spiked. Across the board, the likelihood of a DUI offense or involvement in a drunk driving accident has risen in recent years — but not all days are created equal.

According to Moneygeek’s 2023 projections, Thanksgiving will be the third-most dangerous holiday for DUIs, with an estimated 55% higher-than-average risk of being involved in a DUI-related accident. If you’re planning on going out in Grand Rapids to celebrate the holidays, remember that drunk driving will be significantly more prevalent.

But Thanksgiving isn’t the only day to be on high alert for drunk driving in Michigan. The most dangerous days for DUIs are all holidays:

1. New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day carries a 117% higher-than-average risk of being involved in a DUI fatality.

2. The Fourth of July

On Independence Day itself, you’re at a 77% greater risk of being in a fatal DUI accident. Meanwhile, the week of Independence Day is the most dangerous week for drunk driving.

3. Thanksgiving

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, Grand Rapids. But be careful and be safe. Many DUI arrests come the morning after a big event — often between 12:00 a.m.–3:00 a.m. — making Thanksgiving itself a dangerous day for Michiganders and a busy day to be a Grand Rapids DUI lawyer.

4. Labor Day
Labor Day comes with a 54% higher-than-average DUI accident risk, with the week of Labor Day being the second most deadly week of the year.

5. Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, you have a 51% higher-than-average risk of being involved in an OWI fatality.

(All data are 2023 estimates via Moneygeek.)

5 tips for avoiding an OWI around the holidays

The best way to avoid an OWI in Grand Rapids, of course, is not to drive drunk. If you don’t have a designated driver, always consider ordering an Uber, Lyft or even an old-school taxi cab. Keep in mind that the cost of ordering a safe ride is significantly lower than the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer in Grand Rapids.

The first step to prevention is awareness. As you approach the holiday season, keep in mind that although celebrations carry a higher likelihood of DUIs in Michigan, they all offer their own unique ways to stay safe.

1. New Year’s Day

New year, new you. Don’t make that new you struggle with the consequences of a DUI on January 1. Instead, enter the new year on a high note. By offering to be the designated driver for your friends on New Year’s Eve, you can wake up on January 1 with a clear head, a sense of pride and an early accomplishment under your belt to propel yourself to a great year.

2. Fourth of July

Instead of driving to a crowded fireworks display, consider hosting a watch party at your home or finding a walkable location from which to view the fireworks. If you do decide to travel on Independence Day, consider carpooling with family or friends to reduce the amount of vehicles on the road.

3. Thanksgiving

For many in the Grand Rapids area, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to see loved ones you haven’t seen all year. If you’d be happy to help them out if they needed a sober ride, there’s a good chance they’d be happy to help you, too.

4. Labor Day

Labor Day often marks the end of summer. Take advantage of the September sunlight and warmth by organizing active outings that are less likely to feature alcohol, like a hike or an outing in a local Grand Rapids park.

5. Memorial Day

Parades are a common event on Memorial Day to remember and honor those who served. Often, parades will have shuttles or designated drop-off points, making it easier to avoid getting behind the wheel on a day known for its high OWI offenses in Michigan.


Statistically speaking, DUI offenses are significantly more frequent around the holidays. If you do find yourself facing a DUI in Grand Rapids, it’s critical that you get in touch with the best DUI attorney in Michigan as quickly as possible.

If you or a loved one is facing an OWI charge in Grand Rapids this holiday season — or in 2024 — it’s important to understand the potential penalties and sanctions. Working with the best Grand Rapids OWI attorney can give you the best chance at avoiding unnecessarily harsh penalties.

Not sure how to look for a drunk driving lawyer in Grand Rapids? This resource will walk you through the process of finding the best criminal defense attorney for your case.

Remember: Acting quickly matters in your DUI defense. The sooner you get in touch with an OWI lawyer in Grand Rapids, the sooner the firm can start building your case. If you’re ready to work with an expert Grand Rapids OWI attorney today, give Mark Caldwell a call. Mark has helped thousands of clients fight DUI/OWI charges in Michigan for almost 20 years.

  • “[Mark] has been very professional, responsive and helpful. I am positive I could not have gotten my license back without him!” – M. Braybrooks
  • “Mark was fantastic to work with … His price is beyond reasonable and well worth it with the outcome I got.” – M. Adams
  • “Mark is an incredible lawyer! I’m glad I called him for my DUI. He was very professional and knowledgeable and got me a great deal.” – R. Salas

Need some help this holiday season? Schedule a free consultation with Mark Caldwell today by calling (616) 915-6576 or sending an email to

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