With the holiday season on its way comes the prospect of big family gatherings, office parties, private parties, several days off from work, and all of the celebratory vibes in the air that lead to holiday drinking. However, it’s a sobering fact that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve bring with them drunk drivers who can put everyone at risk. Every year, holiday drinking causes a spike in traffic accidents, many of them fatal.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over the past five years, holiday drunk driving accidents have caused an average of 300 fatalities each season. These alcohol-related deaths comprise more than one-fourth of all traffic accident deaths. One reason for the spikes is that more people drink during the holidays who often drink little during the rest of year and these people often have a much lower tolerance for alcohol, making them dangerous drivers. On the other hand, heavy drinkers drink even more, having the justification of the festive time of year to back up their habit.
It is important to remember at this time of year that drunk driving is unlawful, not only here in California but in every state across the country. Our state has serious consequences for those found violating the law on this that includes jail time, heavy fines, license suspension, probation, and other court-ordered sanctions. Furthermore, if you are convicted you will have a DUI that gives you a permanent criminal record that can create future problems in terms of employment, housing, and more.
It is also important to know that law enforcement is out aggressively, especially on the eves of holidays, vigorously looking for drunk drivers to pull over and ticket.
Tips for Avoiding a Holiday DUI
The best action you can take to avoid a DUI at any time is simple: don’t drink and drive. If you want to drink, that’s fine. Just don’t get behind the wheel.
Here are common sense tips for the avoidance of a holiday DUI:
- Call Uber, Lyft, or a taxi to take you to and from your holiday destination. That gives you a way to enjoy the holiday without worry.
- Appoint someone your designated driver. You may have a friend or family member who just isn’t a drinker – give over the driving responsibilities to him or her.
- Have only one drink while at the holiday function. This works for a lot of people who enjoy that cocktail or glass of wine at the beginning of the party and stop there. This is even better if you eat or snack while drinking.
- Have the holiday party at your own home where you never face the prospect of driving. If you act as host, take responsibility for others by not letting any of your guests get behind the wheel in a drunken state. Insist someone else takes them home or put them in a rideshare or cab.
Arrested for DUI in Riverside County?
If, unfortunately, you find that you have been charged with a DUI at any time from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, you should immediately contact a DUI lawyer at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich. With over 50 years of combined legal experience, our Riverside County attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and resources to give you the representation you need.
Contact us at (951) 506-6654 to learn more about how we can help today.