Each year, Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season. That’s when the weather finally cools down, the leaves begin to change, and we start preparing for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s.
While the holidays mean family gatherings, work Christmas parties, and New Year’s celebrations to most people, to law enforcement it means one of the busiest DUI seasons of the year. While New Year’s is typically the holiday with the most DUI arrests across the country, the peak DUI season actually begins on Thanksgiving.
What is it about the holidays that causes the wine and champagne sales to skyrocket? It’s lots of things, for one, celebrating with alcohol is an American tradition. During the holidays, we’re in a warm and fuzzy mood, and alcohol goes good with everything when you’re celebrating with friends and family.
Then, there’s the darker side of holiday get-togethers: sometimes we’re dealing with a certain mother-in-law, or brother-in-law and everybody seems to get along better with a few calming glasses of Pinot Grigio or Merlot.
Adding to the stress of the holidays is the expense, trying to find the “perfect” gift for loved ones, shopping at insanely busy malls, and trying to have everything done by Christmas Eve. Between the inevitable celebrations and stress of the holidays, it makes sense why drinking is so popular during this time of year.
Be on the Lookout for DUI Saturation Patrols
As a general rule, law enforcement steps up its DUI enforcement efforts on four-day weekends, and Thanksgiving is the first four-day weekend of the holiday season. A great number of DUI arrests made around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are due to DUI saturation patrols and checkpoints.
While the constitutionality of DUI checkpoints has been challenged on several occasions, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled that checkpoints are lawful because the serve an important purpose in combatting drunk driving, and they are legal in California.
It’s not surprising that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are deadly in terms of DUI in Orange County. LA and Orange counties are populous areas with a strong sense of family and culture. During the holidays, people in Orange County often drive some distance to see family.
So, a word of caution: If you are going to drink on Thanksgiving weekend, or anytime during the holidays, remember to have a designated driver or call a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft. If you dare drink and drive, you can count on local law enforcement to see you before you see them.
Arrested for DUI? Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to discuss your case for free with a Board Certified DUI defense specialist!