Thanksgiving- turkey, dressing and DUI?

Drunk Driving arrest soar over Thanksgiving holidays

Ah…Thanksgiving, time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many, it is a time to get drunk and drive. This should not be surprising given the increased family, social and work stress. Add parties and additional social responsibilities to the list and many individuals simply are unable to cope this time of year.

Last Thanksgiving an estimated 43,000 individuals were injured in a drunk driving incident on the roadways during the holiday season. This means that of the total number of fatalities from car accidents, up to 40% were caused by DUI.

Experts suggest that the 75% of Hardcore Drunk Drivers are assessed as alcohol-dependent and cause 57% of fatal accidents related to alcohol. This means that many hardcore drinkers continue to get behind the wheel, even if they have a previous DUI arrest and conviction.

You can expect police officers to be out in full force this Thanksgiving holiday. Drunk driving fatalities have actually decreased in recent years and many contribute this decline to efforts made by cities to curb drunk driving. One of the most common methods used by law enforcement is the DUI checkpoint.

Although some argue that these sobriety checkpoints are unconstitutional, courts have generally upheld that they are legal if cities follow specific requirements: the checkpoints cannot be random, the local district attorney’s office must be aware of the sobriety checkpoint, there must be a specific process for stopping cars and officers cannot deviate from the pattern, there must be a valid reason to have the sobriety checkpoint, the checkpoints must be publicized, police officers must be visible at the checkpoint, the flow of traffic cannot be seriously impeded, and chemical testing, if required, must be easily accessible from the sobriety checkpoint.

Many cities are tackling drunk driving head-on. Denver, Colorado, for example announced they will initiate their annual Thanksgiving “Heat Is On” crackdown. Thanksgiving’s the “Heat Is On” will be enforced began November 20th and will end November 26th.  The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in their 2012 holiday crackdown titled, Tie One On For Safety® which is a red ribbon campaign to remind drivers to be safe and stay sober.

Last year in Colorado there were 453 drunk driving arrested and seven fatal crashes. Denver had the highest number of DUI arrests with 53. The hope of MADD and police officers in Colorado is reduce the number of alcohol related accidents and encourage drivers who choose to celebrate with alcohol to plan ahead and designate a driver.

What can be lost in the statistics is that these are not just numbers. Every number represents a person who had family, friends, neighbors or children who will miss them the rest of their lives. The best way to avoid a drunk driving charge or arrest is to not drink and drive this holiday season.

Hiring a drunk driving lawyer

If you have had a family member or friend injured by a drunk driver or you have been arrested for drunk driving you can contact a drunk driving lawyer for more information.

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Beth

Beth L. is a content developer for LeadRival, a cutting edge company that helps connect DUI lawyers with DUI clients. Beth L. writes about a variety of DUI topics to help drivers who have been arrested for DUI, getting them the legal help they need.