The holiday season is a time when people take time away from work and school to visit with family and friends who live across town or across the country. As a result, vehicular traffic increases dramatically during the time period lasting from a few days before Christmas until New Year's Day. Historically speaking, New Year's Day is one of the deadliest days of the year to be on the road. If you plan on driving on New Year's Eve – don't become a victim or a defendant!
Holidays mean celebrating. Celebrating, for many, means consuming alcohol. Unfortunately, many of those celebrants get behind the wheel of a car and end up in a collision or in handcuffs – or both. The holiday season in general, and New Year's Day in particular, typically sees a significant increase in both fatal accidents and driving under the influence or DUI arrests. The only way to be certain you don't become a victim or a defendant is to refrain from consuming alcohol and stay off the roadways. Since it is unrealistic to do both, consider taking the following precautions:
- Avoid driving on New Year's Day.
- Avoid driving at night, particularly on roadways that are unfamiliar to you.
- Always check the weather before you head out especially if you are traveling on a road trip.
- Switch drivers every two hours or every 100 miles if you are driving across the country.
- Don't drive for at least 24 hours after consuming alcohol to ensure your energy levels and reaction times are back up to where they should be.
- Forget the “one drink” rule that you may use the rest of the year. Even though you will likely remain under the legal limit if you only have one drink prior to driving, that single drink could be deadly during holiday traffic and/or could cause you a significant delay if you go through a checkpoint.
- Educate yourself about DUI checkpoints in Florida and avoid them if possible. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that DUI checkpoints are legal; however, only when a number of requirements are met, including publication of the location of upcoming checkpoints.
Despite all of these precautions, if you're driving on New Year's Eve you could still find yourself the victim of a collision or under arrest for DUI. If either occurs, your first step should be to contact an experienced Florida attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Contact the team at Powers Sellers, & Finkelstein PLC by calling 727-531-2926 today to schedule your appointment.