The holiday season is just around the corner. While for most of us, it means taking a vacation and spending meaningful time with family and friends, for an Asheville DUI lawyer, it means an increased number of DUI arrests.
While celebrating Christmas and New Year’s, you must remember that Asheville police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers. Avoid driving under the influence and know your rights if you are pulled over.
North Carolina Highway Patrol Launches Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign
The police have already started DUI checkpoints and a widespread information campaign across our state. The Talk It Out campaign aims to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Year’s Eve.
And there is good reason for this campaign. Statistical data collected by the National Safety Council shows that the average value of 31% of drunk driving fatalities throughout the year jumps to 36% during the holiday season.
The crackdown campaign will also include large posters displayed on parked trailers with the message “Booze It & Lose It.”
Why Do DUI Arrests Spiking During the Holidays?
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are not just moments to celebrate families, be thankful for what we have, and look out to the future. According to the American Addiction Centers, the period between the end of November and the end of December comes second on the list of drink-binging holidays, right behind the 4th of July.
This is a time when friends and families meet and spend time around the dinner table, where alcohol is almost always present. Thus, as any Asheville DUI attorney knows, many people will get behind the wheel with a BAC level above the legal limit of 0.08%.
Even if you feel that you are in full control of the car, your senses and judgment are slowed down, and this can lead to tragedies.
Tips to Avoid Getting Charged With DUI During the Holidays
You can enjoy a glass of fine spirit and avoid breaking North Carolina DUI laws if you follow these helpful tips.
1. Plan for a Designated Driver
If you are going to dinner with a group of family members or friends, choose one adult with a valid driver’s license to act as a designated driver. They would abstain from drinking alcohol on that occasion and drive everyone safely to their homes.
2. Download a Ridesharing App
If no one is willing to give up their glass of wine or brandy, then make sure that you have at least a ridesharing app installed on your mobile phone. Also, look for taxi services that provide you with an extra driver to bring your car home.
3. Know Your Rights If You’re Pulled Over
If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, it’s important to be aware of your rights.
- You have the right to remain silent. You are not obligated to answer any questions beyond providing basic identification information.
- You have the right to refuse to perform field sobriety tests.
- Police officers generally need probable cause or your consent to search your vehicle without a warrant.
Refusing a breathalyzer or chemical test will result in an immediate license suspension.
4. Stay Overnight
Most people spend the holidays with family members or close friends. If you happen to drink too much and have no other options, ask to spend the night in the host’s house. Since they were happy to have you over for dinner, they will be accommodating in this simple request for your safety.
5. Don’t Try to Sleep It Off in the Car
Many people end up with a DUI charge even if they were not caught drunk driving. Instead, they decided to avoid inconveniencing their hosts by sleeping in the car until the morning.
However, North Carolina has a very wide definition for the term driver/operator of the car. It is defined as “a person in actual physical control of the vehicle which is in motion or which has the engine running.”
Thus, if you are sitting in the car with the engine running and the heat on, you can be charged with DUI.
Call an Experienced Asheville DUI Lawyer to Defend Your Rights!
If you happen to be charged with DUI during the upcoming holidays, do not put off your legal defense. Instead, reach out to an experienced Asheville DUI lawyer as soon as possible after being charged.
As a new client, you benefit from a free case evaluation, so call us at 828-759-5556!