All this week and next, people across the state of New York will be attending holiday parties put on by family, friends and employers. The majority of these parties will feature delicious food, festive music, carefully planned gift-exchanges and, of course, an assortment of alcoholic beverages.
However, anyone attending these events should be very careful not to get behind the wheel of their car after consuming too much alcohol, as law enforcement agencies throughout the state -- and the country -- will be out in full force as part of a national DUI enforcement campaign entitled "Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over."
The anti-drunk driving campaign -- which is subsidized largely by federal funds -- features both increased enforcement, and national television and radio advertisements over the holiday season. (Chances are very good that you've seen the television ads, which feature otherwise invisible police officers materializing out of the background to arrest drivers who are clearly driving under the influence.)
"The holiday season can be an especially dangerous time on our nation's roadways due to drunk drivers - that's why law enforcement officers will be out in full force," said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. "Our message is simple: drive sober or get pulled over."
Closer to home, the State Police have already indicated that they will maintain an increased presence on the many roads and highways throughout northern New York, which are commonly traveled as people make their way to their holiday destinations.
Specifically, the State Police are planning to carry out 30 sobriety checkpoints, 10 saturation details, 18 underage consumption/unlawful sale to minors details and at least 41 local DWI patrols.
Last year alone, State Police made 526 DUI arrests and issued 35,496 traffic citations during the holidays.
"The holiday season is all about the joy of families and friends, but each year the season turns to sorrows for some as a result of traffic crashes resulting from drinking and driving," said State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico. "We are asking everyone who drinks to designate a driver or arrange safe transportation in advance to secure the happiness of the season for your loved ones."
It is worth noting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently found that the number of drunk driving fatalities in New York actually decreased in 2011, falling by 47.
Stay tuned for more from our New York traffic law blog ...
A DWI/DUI arrest can have a serious impact on your life in a number of ways and result in various penalties. In fact, many of these penalties are much more serious than the mere license suspension or revocation.
When faced with this scenario, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood launches 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' holiday crackdown," Dec. 13, 2012
ABC 50, "'Drive sober or get pulled over' State Police crack down on impaired drivers during the holidays," Dec. 17, 2012