The holiday season is here, with the long Thanksgiving weekend kicking off Christmas shopping and parties for many Californians. Unfortunately, this also means a spike in drunk driving and drunk driving arrests. Office parties, family get-togethers and other holiday events mean plenty of food and drink – and easy access to alcohol.
According to an article in the L.A. Times on December 26, 2012, “Between Dec. 21 and Dec. 25, the CHP (California Highway Patrol) recorded 1,170 DUI arrests on roads its patrols, compared to 980 in 2011. Fatalities during that period were 39, compared to 14 in 2011.” These statistics prove that the holiday season is the busiest time of year for California police officers and CHP looking for drunk drivers. And it’s also the most dangerous time of year for all drivers. Crowded streets and freeways in California are ripe for accidents year-round, but numbers rise during the holiday season, when more people party and then drive, despite all the warnings in the media and prevalence of DUI checkpoints.
Sticking to soda and non-alcoholic beverages this party season is the perfect way to avoid a DUI. If that’s not practical, having a friend or family member act as a designated driver is the second best way to keep clear of a drunk driving arrest. If you imbibe more than one small drink, have a sober friend drive you home. It’s not illegal, per se, to drink an alcoholic beverage and then drive. It is against the law to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.8% or more or drive so erratically after alcohol consumption that you are in danger of causing an accident. Since alcohol lowers inhibitions, many people feel confident that they can drive safely after down several drinks. That’s why it’s so important for imbibing drivers to have a sober friend accompany them to parties or events and take over driving chores even if the inebriated drivers insists on getting behind the wheel.
The LAPD, OCPD and other law enforcement agencies increase DUI checkpoints during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season, especially in neighborhoods with many restaurants and bars. If you know you going to be drinking and can’t find a designated driver, you may want to take a taxi to and from a bar rather than drive and risk a possible DUI.
If you do find yourself pulled over by an officer for driving under the influence, remember that even though you have the right to refuse chemical tests (Blood, breath, urine) and field sobriety tests (walk and turn, one leg stand, etc.), refusal to take these tests may be used against you should your DUI case go to court. That’s why it’s important to secure the services of a respected DUI attorney if you are arrested for drunk driving this holiday season. The lawyers registered with 1-888-DUI-HOTLine.com are available for a free consultation about your DUI case. Our lawyers have offices in Pasadena, Temecula, Riverside and downtown L.A. and other locations in Southern California. Dealing with a DUI arrest is stressful any time of year, but it’s even worse around the holidays.
Don’t let a DUI charge put your year-end visits with friends and family on hold. We can help you avoid a DUI conviction this holiday season. Give us a call at 1-888-DUI-HOTLine (888 – 384-4685) to talk with an experienced California DUI defense attorney in you area.