With Thanksgiving already over and both Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve looming in the near future, the holiday season is officially underway. Many people look forward to family gatherings, as well as time off of work, traditional meals, gift exchanges and parties. Unfortunately, quite a few people involve large amounts of alcohol in their winter holiday celebrations.
From overindulging in champagne on New Year’s Eve before the ball drop to getting drunk at the Christmas table to better tolerate your uncle’s obnoxious political ramblings, there are many reasons why people drink around the holidays.
Unfortunately, afterward, those people will still need to find their way home, and both taxis and ride-hailing services like Lyft may charge a premium or have massive wait times on holidays, leaving people feeling like they have no choice but to drive. That means that with the enjoyment of a few drinks around the holidays comes the risk of drunk driving charges.
Police know that the holidays mean more impaired drivers
There is clear-cut statistical documentation showing a direct correlation between holiday celebrations and increased risk caused by drunk drivers on the roads. The days when people celebrate the holidays, as well as the weekends before and after the holidays, tend to be times when drunk drivers are out in larger numbers on public roads.
Law enforcement officers want to make sure that holiday celebrations are fun, not tragic for the community. As a result, they will likely engage in increased enforcement activities around the holidays and the weekends close to holidays. Some jurisdictions may simply put more officers out patrolling the roads, while others may institute roadblocks or sobriety checkpoints.
Anyone stopped and believed to be under the influence of alcohol during the holidays will likely find that officers have very little holiday cheer or generosity to extend to them. Instead, they will probably find themselves arrested and spending the night in jail.
Increased enforcement could mean increased risk for mistakes
Police officers do their best to keep the public as safe as possible, and that can mean taking aggressive enforcement action against allegedly impaired drivers on the roads. Still, with the pressing knowledge that more drunk drivers are out on a certain day, officers might feel more inclined to rush the process of testing and arresting someone.
From failing to fully perform a field sobriety test to forgetting to calibrate a breath testing unit before administering a test, there are many kinds of mistakes an officer can make during impaired driving enforcement efforts. Instead of simply pleading guilty to impaired driving charges, it is worthwhile to explore whether there were deviances from best practices and potential issues with the evidence gathered against you as part of your defense strategy.