Throw another Yule log on the fire and pour a bit more holiday cheer, but be very careful not to celebrate and drive all in the same timeframe. Here in the Garden State, like many areas around the country at this time of the year, the period from Thanksgiving through New Years’ Eve can see increases in police anti-drunken driving patrols, as well as roadside sobriety checkpoints
We all know the dangers of drunk driving, driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by doctor-prescribed medications, so let’s just say that staying sober on the road this holiday season is the best defense against a DWI arrest or a drug DUI summons. As New Jersey drunken driving defense attorneys, it’s our experience that helps people accused of driving under the influence of beer, wine, hard liquor and even illegal substances, such as cocaine and marijuana. New Jersey drivers themselves can do themselves a big favor by finding a sober ride home if they’ve had too much to drink at a family get-together, holiday open house or seasonal office party.
As many people already know, state police and municipal law enforcement departments are constantly on the alert for drivers who break the law by drinking and driving. And while a DWI arrest rarely begins with an officer assuming a driver is drunk behind the wheel of his or her automobile, the results of many holiday traffic violations can end up with a motorist being arrested and charged with DWI or DUI, not to mention other moving violations. We won’t even mention those arrests that come after a roadway collision that may or may not have been the result of driving drunk.
Of course, the holidays are a wonderful opportunity to celebration, even in these past several years of very difficult economic times. Yet, even as we hear the usual drumbeat of anti-drunk driving public service messages on TV and across the automotive landscape, people still seem surprised when they or someone they know is hit with charges of drunken driving. As experienced trial attorneys, I and my legal staff would like to remind everyone that beyond the potentially deadly results of alcohol use and motor vehicle operation, the monetary penalties are not worth the risk.
If past years are any example, the upcoming Christmas and New Years’ holidays will likely net hundreds of relatively unsuspecting drivers in the annual drunken driving enforcement web. Many of these individuals will feel that they are being unjustly accused; and a percentage of them may certainly be within their rights to fight a DWI or drug DUI charge. Others may be resigned to taking their “medicine” in the form of heavy fines, fee and statutory assessments.
One thing we can say is that over indulgence during the holidays can easily turn a joyous and festive occasion into a costly and bitter tasting experience in our law enforcement and judicial systems. Rather than cultivate less than happy memories due to drinking and driving, we all suggest that New Jersey drivers try to exercise good judgment and enjoy a safe and very cheerful holiday. Good luck and be safe.