Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

Holidays enhance the risk of drunk-driving charges

If you are like most Americans celebrating Thanksgiving this week, the annual gathering of family and friends both near and far marks the beginning of the winter holiday season. However, this heady time of year is rife with occasions to overindulge when drinking alcoholic beverages.

But the problem is not merely that people are drinking. It’s that they are drinking and miscalculating that they can drive home safely after a day or night of revelry. When you combine that factor with the increased presence of so many individuals and families in transit to and from their holiday destinations, the results can be tragic and life-altering for all involved.

There’s an increased police presence on the roads

Typically, states and municipalities beef up their DWI patrols over the period from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Qualifying for grants targeted at reducing the number of highway deaths attributed to drinking and driving can put more officers on the roads with the sole mission of getting DWI offenders off the road.

Of course, with more law enforcement focusing on potentially impaired motorists, innocent drivers can get stopped by police at sobriety checkpoints or pulled over for minor infractions like a broken tail light to allow the officer to question or even detain you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Invoke your rights after a police stop

Just because you stand accused of drunk driving is not a foregone conclusion of your guilt. You can minimize the fallout of a DWI arrest by remembering to invoke the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions by police until you have spoken to a criminal defense attorney.

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