The 2019 holiday season is now officially in full swing. It is going to be shorter than usual because Thanksgiving was so late this year, which means it may seem even busier than usual. Ideally, this is a time to see family and friends. There will also be opportunities to attend work parties and other year-end events that include lots of good food and potentially an open bar.
The other side of this coin, however, is that there are more drivers on the road who have been drinking and driving. While distracted driving is on the rise, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published reminders that drinking and driving are still a danger, especially during the holidays.
Make it safe to celebrate
It is always best to celebrate with a plan. This can include:
- Designated driver: This should be determined ahead of time, not once everyone has had a few drinks.
- Pay for a ride: There are many sober ride services available during the holidays, including public transportation as well as Uber and Lyft.
Watch for over-zealous law enforcement
It is law enforcement’s job to protect and serve the people. However, it does not always work out that way. More than a few designated drivers or drivers under the legal limit are pulled over each year — the technology in Breathalyzers is not as reliable as many thought, so it is critical to avoid making matters worse. Meaningful ways a driver can help themselves include:
- Be polite but do not volunteer any information, particularly if it sounds incriminating.
- Have your driver’s license and insurance information ready.
- Follow the officer’s instructions.
- Control the behavior of passengers so they do not offend the officer.
Important things to remember
It may not seem like it when a driver is pulled over, but they are innocent until proven guilty. It is this mindset that will help them navigate even the most difficult of circumstances. An attorney with a background handling DUI cases here in Georgia can also be a tremendous asset for protecting the rights of the driver during this holiday season as well.