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Avoid drunk driving this holiday season, and avoid being arrested

If police don't adhere to a predetermined procedure for pulling over cars and checking for drunk driving, checkpoints can be considered illegal.
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    December 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- If you're planning on attending holiday parties this year, you may also want to plan how you're going to get home if you'll be drinking. As most people know, drinking and driving is risky and it's also very common during the holiday season. The period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is the most dangerous time of year for people to be on the roads due to holiday traffic, winter weather and yes, drunk driving.

Thousands of people are arrested in North Carolina each year for drunk driving; The Century Council reported 53,700 DUI arrests in the state in 2011. Many of these arrests were made during the holiday season, and local law enforcement anticipates another busy year of watching out for drunk drivers. The Governors Highway Safety Association says that DUI checkpoints are allowed weekly in North Carolina. It's highly likely that people attending parties during the holiday season can encounter a sobriety checkpoint.

Checkpoint procedures prevent discrimination and wrongful arrests

When conducted properly, DUI checkpoints are 18 to 24 percent effective in preventing alcohol-related accidents and fatalities, says MADD. However, if police don't adhere to a predetermined procedure for pulling over cars and checking for drunk driving, checkpoints can be considered illegal. For example, last December police at a checkpoint in Texas were found to have pulled over more than their planned-upon every three cars, said Channel 10 News. As a result, one man's DUI case was dropped, and others' convictions may also have been affected.

Just like DUI laws, checkpoint laws exist to protect those accused of drunk driving as well as to protect people from being hurt by drunk drivers. By agreeing to pull over only a certain number of vehicles, police avoid profiling drivers. Typically, checkpoints are also publicized in advance and signs must be posted to alert drivers of their presence. The goal is not to increase arrests, but to remind the public about the dangers of drinking and driving, and to deter people from getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

Preventing drunk driving accidents

The best way to avoid being arrested for drunk driving is to take certain precautions to prevent drunk driving in the first place, says Psych Central. These precautions include:
- Serving non-alcoholic options at parties.
- Deciding on a limit to the amount of alcohol to drink.
- Designating a sober driver in advance.
- Simply saying no when friends pressure you to drink more.

Despite the best precautions, people can still make the decision to drink and drive, and some can even be falsely arrested. If you've been arrested on DUI charges, you'll need an experienced drunk driving defense attorney to help you understand the penalties you may be facing. An attorney can ensure you're treated fairly in court and that your side of the case is heard.

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