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Celebrating in Jail: Holidays That Increase Your Chances for Being Pulled Over

Darwyn L. Easley
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Attorney and Counsellor at Law

Holidays and vacations are a time to let off steam, relax, celebrate, and let go of the stresses of everyday life. Unfortunately, if you overdo the celebration, you could wind up “relaxing” in prison, or at the very least, celebrating a ticket.

Everyone has traditions when celebrating different holidays. Many of these traditions include food, family, friends—and alcohol. Although this sounds like a fun time, certain holiday celebrations drastically increase the number of drunk and irresponsible drivers taking to the road. As a result, traffic enforcement officers can and do take advantage of holiday impropriety to fill citation quotas.

In fact, according to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, drunk driving and traffic violations drastically increase during certain holidays, causing the need for more officers to write citations. Therefore, no matter how you celebrate, if you want to avoid a DUI, it’s important to know which holidays pose the highest enforcement risks.   

Holiday Celebrations That Can Land You a DUI

Everyone deserves to let go once in a while. Unfortunately, national holidays are the only times when many people have that opportunity. Consequently, they may tend to overdo it a bit and wind up overly intoxicated without even knowing it. As a result, the number of drunk drivers (and arrests) drastically increases during specific holiday periods.

For your own safety, as well as the safety of your pocketbook, you should always know your limit and drive responsibly, especially during the following holidays:  

  • New Year’s Eve. One of the traditionally alcohol-fueled holidays, New Year’s Eve not only encourages copious amounts of drinking, but it also encourages large crowds and public celebrations. As a result, traffic is increased as well as drunk driving.
  • Valentine’s Day. Although Valentine’s Day doesn’t usually involve large parties or raucous celebrations, it can involve heavy drinking and an increase in traffic as couples are trying to make their reservations or get to their romantic destinations.
  • St. Patrick’s Day. March 17th is the most notorious day for drunk drivers. Between buckets of Guinness, green beer, and an entire day of shots, you’re lucky if you’re able to walk home, let alone drive. However, many woefully intoxicated celebrators still attempt to get behind the wheel, and are caught.
  • Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day (The BBQ Holidays). Some of the best holidays are in the summer. Although Memorial, Labor, and Independence Days aren’t necessarily “drinking holidays” like St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve, their laid back traditions, in some ways, are even more dangerous for drunk drivers. Spending the day in the sun, “hydrating” yourself with the constant flow of beer, wine coolers, etc., and running around with family makes it harder to realize how much you’re actually drinking. In addition, dehydration and sunstroke can exacerbate the effects of alcohol. As a result, you may not even know you’re drunk until you see the flashing lights behind you

Bad Timing?

It’s never o.k. to drink and drive, but it may seem unfair that police target special occasions to pull people over. Let us know how you feel about sobriety checkpoints and enforcement zones on holidays. Is it bad timing or for our own good? Sound off in our comments section.

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