The holiday season boasts the chance for family reunions, special treats, and happy memories to be had over several months. While you may be focused on how many servings you can have at holiday dinners or where you’ll find some post-holiday shopping deals, you should also be mindful of keeping yourself safe from receiving a DUI charge during these weeks.
This time of year, many people find themselves indulging in one too many beverages before getting behind the wheel, and police officers are more than ready to pull them over. Here’s what you should know about DUI around the holiday season.
Avoiding a DUI Charge During the Holidays
Why Do DUI Arrests Increase Around the Holidays?
DUI charges do not magically increase on their own during the final and first months of the year. Rather, there are many concrete reasons why we tend to see a rise in these arrests during this time.
The Holidays Can Lead to Overindulgence
It’s no secret that the holiday season is filled with special treats and drinks to help everyone feel more festive. Whether it’s a glass or two of champagne or a holiday-themed Old Fashioned, many people can lose track of how much they’re drinking as that holiday spirit sets in. This can lead to adults — or even underage young adults — overindulging and attempting to drive home under unsafe conditions.
Police Patrol More During the Holidays
Police officers are aware of the situation mentioned above, and they know that overindulgence will lead to more people driving under the influence of alcohol. To combat this, many departments will increase the number of officers they have patrolling the community around this time of year. They may also coordinate with supervisors to set up DUI checkpoints to better screen for drunk drivers.
With these factors in mind, it’s important to do everything you can in order to stay safe and avoid being arrested for a DUI.
Steps for Avoiding a DUI Arrest
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t consider this option. If you’re driving yourself somewhere, ensure you won’t be pulled over for drinking and driving by not drinking at all.
Arrange a Ride
If you know that you’ll want to have a few drinks at a restaurant or friend’s house, arrange for someone else to drive you home. This can be another (sober) attendee, a family member, public transportation, or a rideshare.
Keep Track of Your Drinks
If you plan on driving yourself home after having a few drinks, you need to be extremely careful to keep track of how much alcohol you’re consuming over a specific period of time. Typically, this means having no more than one standard “drink” per hour.
It’s also important to note that one “glass” is not equal to the amount of one “drink”. In the eyes of the law, a standard drink is considered:
12 ounces of beer — typically at about 5% alcohol
5 ounces of wine — typical at about 12% alcohol
1.5 ounces of a distilled spirit — typically at about 40% alcohol
You should also remember that the amount of alcohol in one drink can vary depending on how it is made. For example, one 12 ounce bottle of beer may be 5% alcohol, but a heavier stout beer may be 8% alcohol, making it more than a standard drink.
Police officers need a reason to pull you over for suspicion of driving under the influence, such as lane swerving or speeding. If they do pull you over, you don’t need to be over the 0.08% legal limit to be charged — you could receive a DUI Less Safe if you are deemed to be incapable of driving safely, even if you’re under the legal limit.
Drive carefully so the police do not have probable cause to pull you over in the first place.
What to Do If You Get Stopped for DUI
If you do end up getting pulled over under suspicion of DUI, do your best to remain calm and follow the officer’s directions. In some cases, any erratic behavior, such as fumbling with your license or speaking too loudly, can be used as evidence against you.
You may be asked to perform a field sobriety test or blow into a breathalyzer. While the results from these tests can be used against you, not performing them as directed can sometimes lead to more serious consequences, such as an automatic license suspension.
If you are charged and arrested for DUI, it’s essential to quickly retain the help of a skilled DUI attorney who can fight for your rights and work to reduce your charges or get them dismissed entirely.
Aggressive DUI Defense In Savannah, GA
Our team at The Lerch Law Firm knows the main concerns many people have when they find themselves in this situation.
Our experienced Savannah DUI attorneys have handled thousands of cases and always build you an individually-tailored DUI defense strategy. We know that each client and each case is truly unique.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation!