Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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New Year's holiday and drunk driving

As the 2014 holiday season is well underway, drivers in New York should pay extra attention to law enforcement patrols, especially during designated holiday dates. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records show that the number of fatalities associated with drunk driving accidents increases significantly during these holiday times. That means that all drivers could face greater vigilance and should learn what to do if stopped by officers.

Records from 2001 to 2005 compare an average number of deaths attributed to accidents involving alcohol over the Christmas holiday days, the New Year's holiday days, the rest of December and the remainder of the year. Statistics show that the New Year's holiday period has the highest fatality rate among all of those time periods. This logically coincides with more police and associated legal activity on the roads.

The has already noted that New York State Police were notably busy over the recent Thanksgiving holiday weekend, issuing a total of 11,198 tickets that included 721 DUI tickets. Other noted violations included speeding and distracted driving as well as ignoring the law requiring drivers to pull over before using their mobile phones in their cars. Of the tickets for driving under the influence, it is not known how many were for first offenses or subsequent offenses.

The penalties that drivers can face for convictions of DUI, DWI or related offenses can be costly and long-lasting. They include fines, points on a license and even loss of driving privileges in many cases. With data regarding drunk driving so publicized, especially during the holidays, all motorists should exercise appropriate caution to avoid being involved in unfortunate situations.

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