The holidays are full of beautiful lights, touching family memories, and for many, lots of driving. Unfortunately, this is also one of the worst times of the year for DUI arrests and accidents. Arrest rates spike during this time and so do accidents caused by impaired drivers. If you plan on traveling this holiday season, or even if you plan on staying close to home, know what to expect and how to keep yourself safe.
If you find yourself pulled over for a DUI during the holidays, we’re here to help. Don’t wait to get the representation you need. Call Holcomb & Russell at 228-206-5843 and set up a time to talk.
Holiday DUIs Are a National Problem
This problem is not unique to Mississippi. In fact, the entire country sees a huge spike in DUI arrests and drunk driving crashes. While there are accidents during other holidays, such as the Fourth of July and Halloween, they really hit their peak between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
The federal government and numerous state governments have bent over backward trying to solve this problem by announcing DUI roadblocks, creating expensive public education programs, and increasing penalties. Unfortunately, for the most part, these measures have been unsuccessful.
Why Are DUIs So Common During the Holiday Season?
If you don’t drink much or you tend to be a homebody during the holidays, you may be surprised to hear that holiday DUIs are such a big problem. This time of year creates the perfect storm of circumstances for impaired driving accidents.
First, people tend to be either in a joyful, celebratory mood or a stressed, overwhelmed mood. Both of these extremes lend themselves to indulging a bit too much, putting people in a position where they may drink more than they usually do.
Second, roads are snowy and hard to navigate in many parts of the country. People generally overestimate their ability to drive in poor weather, and they are especially likely to do so when they are impaired. The poor road conditions, slow reaction times, and increased amount of traffic make crashes much more likely.
Finally, there are simply more cars on the road. A lot of families spend the holiday season rushing to see each side of the family, which means more time in the car and more time spent on unfamiliar roads. This puts them at a greater risk of ending up in the path of an impaired driver.
Expect Delays If You Are Arrested During the Holiday Season
Looking for a sign that you should absolutely not get behind the wheel after a few drinks this holiday season? You can expect inconvenient delays when getting booked in and arraigned.
If the police have a busy night, you’ll likely be with lots of other impaired drivers when you’re waiting to be booked in and hopefully bailed out. This often means you wait longer than expected. Should you get arrested over a holiday weekend, you could wait even longer—imagine having to tell your mom that you won’t be home for Christmas because you’re sitting in a jail cell.
Protecting Yourself and Preventing DUIs
If you’re driving this holiday season and you’re concerned about protecting your family, a few easy tips can help you stay safe:
- Review your route before leaving. If you’re not trying to check your GPS or reprogram it during a drive, you’ll be better able to focus on other cars.
- Avoid nighttime driving whenever possible. Nighttime driving limits your visibility and makes it harder to see when the roads are slick with ice.
- Leave extra room when driving around other cars. You never know who’s driving while impaired. Assume the worst by giving other drivers plenty of space.
- Stay off the roads during dangerous times. Impaired driving accidents tend to start increasing at 9:00 P.M. and peak at about 1:00 A.M. Stay home during these times if you can.
If you want to avoid a DUI this holiday season, plan early and review your plans often. When going out for drinks with friends, make sure you have a reliable taxi service to call or preload your phone with Uber and Lyft. If you are the chosen designated driver, make sure others feel comfortable holding you accountable if you feel tempted to drink.
Contact Holcomb & Russell for the Assistance You Need
Should you find yourself involved in an accident or arrested this holiday season, it’s crucial to have an attorney you can trust. That’s where we step in to help. Call Holcomb & Russell at 228-206-5843 or send us an online message to talk to our team.