December 7, 2009 – As we inch closer to the start of a new calendar year, state and local law enforcement will begin to ratchet up the emphasis on DUI patrol and enforcement. This is nothing new. For years law enforcement has allocated extra resources to patrolling the streets and highways in an attempt to crack down on holiday drunk driving. This year will be no different. And while the suggestive preventative measures to avoid being stopped and arrested for a DUI this time of year sound cliche, they are effective nonetheless.
Don’t drive after having consumed alcohol. Police will be looking to stop as many vehicles as possible during these DUI emphasis patrols. And it doesn’t take much to catch their attention. A minor traffic infraction, a missing tail light, expired tabs, etc. Little things that would draw no notice during the day light hours are magnified after dark, especially after midnight when the ratio of police to civilian drivers increases considerably. If one has been drinking, the officer will likely smell the odor of intoxicants and, drunk or not, that person will most likely be arrested.
Assign designated drivers, take cabs or buses, walk, call a friend. All of these options are considerable more appealing, and less expensive, than being arrested and/or charged with a DUI. Even though driving after having consumed alcohol is not in and of itself unlawful, why take the chance. Especially when you know that now, more than any other time of the year, they are looking for you. It’s not worth the risk.
Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.