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The Holiday Season and Driving

The holiday season is a time to spend with family and friends. By nature this means social events at people's homes or at restaurants and bars. Add to that annual end of the year work parties and it can get pretty busy, particularly if there are a spouse and kids who have their own parties as well. There are only so many weekends between Thanksgiving and New Years, which often means double or even triple booking your days and nights. The roads are also crowded with people in the same predicament.

Driving fatalities up during the holidays

Drinking is often a part of this ritual as well. Blackout Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year because students are home from college, businesses are closed the following day, and many will be with family for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving weekend generally accounts for more alcohol-related traffic deaths than any other holiday, but the average number of fatalities involving alcohol rose 34 percent nationally during the Christmas and New Year period in 2015. The officials are quite aware of these numbers and staff accordingly.

Here in New York

According to the Center for Disease Control, the good news for New Yorkers is that we are at about half of the national average with 2.7 alcohol-related traffic deaths for males per 100,000 drivers and .8 deaths for women per 100,000 drivers. Nonetheless, there are nearly 400 alcohol-related traffic deaths on average in New York.

All the usual protocols work for managing the holiday party schedule:

•· Use a designated driver.

•· Use cabs or some other car service like Uber.

•· Don't drink alcohol if you are driving.

•· Stay where you are if you can when you've had too much to drink.

•· Remember to eat.

If you are pulled over

If you, a friend or a family member get pulled over end on suspicion of DWI, it is a good idea to consult an attorney with a background in DWI defense as soon as possible, even before a driver even submits to a Breathalyzer test. An attorney can offer sound legal advice that will help reduce the stress of the situation and provide the best possible chance of reducing or dismissing the charges.

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