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Why are the police on high alert for DUIs during the holidays?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2023 | Dwi/dui

It is universally understood that drivers must be on their best behavior to avoid being stopped by one of the many law enforcement officers patrolling the roads this time of year, especially on significant holidays. But why? Does drunk driving actually spike during the holiday season, or does a heightened police presence simply lead to more arrests? The answer is that it’s a little of both.

Alcohol is a significant factor in holiday car accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 36% of the 515 drivers killed over the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2020 had alcohol in their systems. Over Christmas the same year, 39% of the 336 drivers who died had consumed alcohol before the crash. Finally, a whopping 49% of the 153 traffic fatalities on New Year’s Day in 2020 were intoxicated.

More people are drinking and driving

The close relationship between alcohol consumption and traffic deaths on major holidays suggests that drivers are more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking on these days. It makes sense – there tend to be more parties and gatherings on holidays. The norm on these occasions is to celebrate with alcoholic beverages. Drinking to excess is often more acceptable, too. With their estimation of their abilities augmented and their judgment impaired, many drivers choose to get behind the wheel when drunk.

The police are trying to keep our roads safe

The police are aware of the increase in drunk drivers and drunk driving accidents during the holidays. So, they increase the amount of DUI patrols and checkpoints on these days. Their goal is to get dangerous drivers off the road. However, this heightened scrutiny can lead them to pull drivers over without probable cause. They may even arrest people without having sufficient evidence of drunk driving.

What if you get stopped for drunk driving over the holidays?

If a police officer makes an unlawful traffic stop and charges someone with a DUI without sufficient evidence, legal options are available. A DUI defense attorney can help.