Do you plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends and family? Are you going to a New Year’s Eve party? Will you be drinking alcohol as part of your holiday celebration? If so, we want you to know a few things about DUI’s during the New Year’s holiday.
How Common are DUI Accidents During the New Year’s Holiday?
According to Scram Systems, New Year’s Day is the deadliest day for DUI accidents in the United States. Approximately 61 percent of the deaths in traffic accidents on New Year’s Day are caused by drivers who are impaired by alcohol. Furthermore, slightly over one-half of the high-risk DUI offenders responding to a survey admit they drink more during the holidays. Because alcohol plays a major role in many of the New Year’s Eve celebrations that many people attend, it is not surprising that DUI offenses rise on New Year’s Day.
If you include alcohol in your New Year’s celebration, we urge you to take steps to prevent a DUI offense. Some of the steps you can take include:
- If you drink, don’t drive! It is that simple.
- Have a designated driver with you to get you and your friends home safely after the celebration ends.
- Plan to take another form of transportation after the party. Do not drive to the party so that you are forced to take public transportation to get home.
- If you are at someone’s home or a hotel, you can make arrangements to stay overnight so that you do not need to drive at all.
DUI Offenses During the Holidays
Because it is assumed there will be more drivers on the road on New Year’s Day who have been drinking, law enforcement officers increase enforcement efforts on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. A drunk driving conviction can carry severe penalties, especially if a drunk driver causes a car accident when the driver is impaired by alcohol. A driver could face serious jail time, fines, loss of driving privileges, the installation of an ignition interlock device, alcohol counseling, and education courses.
However, in some cases, a driver could be stopped for a suspected DUI offense illegally. Even though enforcement efforts might be enhanced over the holidays, that does not mean that the law changes regarding probable cause. Traffic stops must still be made according to the law, and your legal rights do not change. The same defenses to a DUI stop, a breathalyzer, and other elements of a DUI charge exist.
Fight a New Year’s DUI Charge in Pennsylvania
A DUI conviction can change your life forever. However, an arrest is not a conviction. You are innocent until a judge finds you guilty of drunk driving! Do not give up your legal rights by pleading guilty and taking a plea deal without consulting with an experienced Erie DUI defense attorney. Exercise your legal rights and fight your drunk driving charge.
For a free legal consultation with a Pennsylvania DUI attorney, call The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066.