Mardi Gras, DWI, and accidents: Get the facts

The time when the New Orleans Police Department arrests the most people on DWI charges is during Mardi Gras. Every law enforcement agency states that they book more people for driving while intoxicated than at any other time during the year.

It happens every year. Law enforcement officers stop a larger number of people with the suspicion of driving while intoxicated more than at any other time of the year.

As is the custom, people attending the parades during Mardi Gras begin to drink, and by the time the parades are over and it’s time to go home, they aren’t in any condition to drive. Fortunately, law enforcement officers are prepared for this. More officers are on the streets at this time, and when parade goers make the mistake of trying to drive home, they will be stopped. 

The time when the New Orleans Police Department arrests the most people on DWI charges is during Mardi Gras. Every law enforcement agency states that they book more people for driving while intoxicated than at any other time during the year. Even though arrests for driving while impaired have gone down, during Mardi Gras, the rates remain the same. 

Dangerous crashes in 2017 and 2019
A drunk driver ran into a group of people watching a Mardi Gras parade in 2017 and injured 28 people. Some of these people were very seriously injured. 

The year 2019 was a particularly deadly year. That was when a drunk driver ran down a group of cyclists after the Endymion parade. His blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit, so it isn’t a surprise that he killed two of the cyclists.

Statistics during the season
The season begins 11 days before the parades start. That’s when law enforcement officers are stopping more people on suspicion of DWI than any other time in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. 

The year 2009 was also a particularly dangerous year. That was the year that DWI arrests peaked at nearly 32,000.

Punitive damages
If you were hit by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to receive punitive damages. Read more about damages you can recover after a car accident.