Around the holidays, people are visiting family and friends. They’re drinking at work parties, attending ugly sweater parties, and more. All of these parties generally have something in common – alcohol being served at them. While the legal limit can vary from state to state, the notion of a DUI remains the same. If you drive while intoxicated, you are served with a DUI offense, which can add up significantly and impact your driving privileges.
DUI patrols are generally increased from Thanksgiving to New Years as that is when there are more likely to be DUI offenses. Many cities even go as far as creating DUI checkpoints. This is where officers will require people to stop simply to make sure that they haven’t been drinking before allowing them to proceed.
The checkpoints and the DUI offenses are not meant to be a ‘buzzkill’ as some people would call it. Instead, it’s meant to save lives. According to the Insurance Institute, 29 percent of all crash fatalities are as a result of being alcohol-impaired.
With more DUI car crashes happening in the holiday season, it means that there’s a greater chance of someone losing a loved one. Although it’s possible for someone to file an accidental death and dismemberment lawsuit against the driver who chose to drive under the influence, everyone would much rather be able to celebrate the season with their loved ones.
There’s much more involved with a DUI car crash than a typical car crash. While the person responsible for the accident may still be charged with reckless endangerment and even vehicular homicide, there may be other charges based on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Most states have a law that prohibits a person from operating a vehicle if they have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.
When someone is charged with a DUI, their sentencing will vary based on whether it is a first offense or not. Those who have only committed a DUI for the first time will be given a warning. However, that warning can still result in jail time, fines, and license suspension. Much of it will depend greatly on the amount of damage that was caused as well as the actual percentage of the BAC. Higher percentages can result in higher penalties due to the level of impairment.
It is not uncommon for a DUI crash to take the life of another. While some crashes may kill the driver of the vehicle who was driving while intoxicated, they could also kill someone in another vehicle or a pedestrian. Every year, there are stories of how DUI drivers caused the death of someone who was out holiday shopping, taking their children to a school play, or heading home from work.
While checkpoints are often in place, the statistics don’t lie – the holiday season from the middle of November until the first of January is when the most number of DUI charges occur. It’s possible for everyone to avoid a DUI crash, even if it means calling for a taxi or a rideshare.