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3 ways the holidays lend themselves to drunk driving charges

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

The holidays usually mean time off from work, family gatherings and a host of personal traditions. Unfortunately, they also involve an elevated risk of certain kinds of injuries and arrests due to increased law enforcement presence on the streets.

For example, motorists heading to or from holiday celebrations in South Dakota are very likely to cross paths with at least a few officers patrolling the area for traffic infractions. Some people will end up having a miserable holiday season because they get arrested and then face prosecution. Why do so many people get arrested for drunk driving around the holidays?

Many celebrations involve alcohol

Many family traditions around the holidays involve alcohol. One family member may make a special dessert with rum that they add after baking so that it has a bit of a kick. Those traditions can be a lot of fun, but they can also put someone at risk of getting arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) offense later in the day.

People often feel compelled to drive home

Even though a huge number of families get together around the holidays, many of them have single-day celebrations. The roads will have a huge amount of traffic leading up to lunchtime and again in the evenings because people travel to and from celebration destinations on the same day. The lack of overnight accommodations during holiday celebrations can very easily lead to people feeling like they must head back home, possibly just a little bit after they finish their last drink. They may even experience a rising blood alcohol concentration (BAC) on the way home because they don’t give themselves enough time to metabolize the alcohol after consuming it.

Police departments are on high alert

There is more of a focus on catching drunk drivers around the holidays than on many other individual days throughout the year. The increase in drunk driving crashes associated with the major holidays often influences how local law enforcement agencies handle holiday scheduling. There is more of a focus on watching for drunk drivers around the holidays and possibly more officers out on the roads as well. Those looking for drunk drivers often find exactly what they expect, even if a motorist that they pull over has a seemingly reasonable explanation for erratic driving or unusual results on a chemical breath test.

Those arrested around the holidays for DUI offenses may need to review the state’s evidence carefully with the assistance of an attorney while developing a defense strategy. After all, “It was the holidays!” is not a viable defense to impaired driving charges.

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