Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
Why Does Crime Increase During the Holidays?

Why Does Crime Increase During the Holidays?

Holiday Crime Rates: Explained

Despite the winter holidays being known as the "most wonderful time of year," it is also well known that this season annually has some of the highest crime rates. In particular, larceny and robbery tend to increase by at least 30% in the retail sector. Drivers also tend to get charged with driving under the influence (DUI) at higher rates. However, the reasons why certain crimes are more frequent varies based on the given holiday.

Reasons that Crimes Increase Over the Holidays


More larceny arrests occur on Friday nights and Saturdays when people are off from work, leading to the assumption that more free time opens up opportunities to commit these crimes. There is also evidence to suggest that evenings after 5 pm also have higher crime rates.

Mental Health

People become more stressed and depressed during the holiday season as well. Not everyone has a good relationship with their family members or loved ones, so spending time with them can trigger anxiety or other mental issues. For some, the thought of being in the same room with their relatives makes them very depressed. Likewise, some don't have a family to spend the season with at all, leading them to also feel lonely and down.

Financial anxiety associated with shopping for gifts and seasonal depression can also contribute to the mental-health related crimes committed during this time.


During the holiday season, we can expect people to be out shopping more than they usually are. With so many away from home, the chance of house robbery increases. We also see more vehicular break-ins during this time since parking lots are overcrowded.

Online Opportunities

The problem is not just one that happens at the brick-and-mortar stores. People are committing larceny online as well. Many of us are not enthusiastic about going to the local mall to do our Christmas shopping, especially in 2020. With stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures, many shoppers will likely skip the lines at the mall and instead shop from the safety of their home. However, their information may not be completely safe online.

According to a survey conducted by Experian, 8% of online shoppers report being victims of identity theft during this time of year. For 16% of these people, the theft occurred on Cyber Monday. The problem is that some of the online stores haven't been around for several years and may not already have these safeguards in place.

Charities are also causing concern for this reason. Fake shops and charities pop up during the holidays because these criminals want to prey on the goodwill of the season.

What Other Crimes Increase During This Time?

DUIs and Drunk Driving Fatalities

The time period from Thanksgiving Eve to New Year's Day is hugely well-known for the number of driving under the influence convictions and drunk driving-related fatalities that occur each year. During this time, an average of 25% of all traffic fatalities can be attributed to drunk driving.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the Alcohol Monitoring System states that more than 450,000 DUI offenders increased the amount of alcohol they drank during the holiday season. They increased their alcohol consumption by 33% even though they were aware that they were being monitored at that time. This led the Alcohol Monitoring System's vice-president to remark that the holiday season and drinking go hand in hand.

Need Representation This Holiday Season? Contact Stein Law, LLC

It's no surprise that the holiday season can be an unpredictable time with weather, shopping, and other events that can impact the country, like 2020's coronavirus pandemic. If this stressful time has led to you being charged with a crime, ensure your rights are protected by having an experienced attorney by your side. The team at Stein Law, LLC will work with you to achieve an outcome that lets you be home for the holidays.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys by calling (913) 583-0465.


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