December 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- For most people, the holidays are a joyous time of year, and they look forward to spending the time with friends and family at home or celebrating around town. And for many, it just wouldn't be a holiday celebration without involving alcohol. While there's nothing wrong with toasting a Thanksgiving dinner or ringing in the New Year with a few drinks, many people will make the decision to drink and drive during the holiday season. This is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the roads, and Texas law enforcement is prepared to catch those who drink and drive before people get hurt.
Many people are arrested on drunk driving charges every year in Texas; The Century Council reported 85,715 DUI arrests in the state in 2011. According to KSAT, there has been an increase in drunk driving arrests and fatalities over the past few years, especially during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. In response, MADD and AAA of Texas are planning to hand out red ribbons this holiday season to remind people not to drink and drive.
Strict state DUI laws
Also anticipating the increase in drunk driving over the holidays, local police plan to team up with the Texas Highway Patrol to "aggressively" watch out for drunk drivers, says Dallas News. The Governors Highway Safety Administration says that state law prohibits actual sobriety checkpoints, but police can look for drunk drivers in other ways. And state laws
are particularly severe against drunk driving, even for first-time offenders.
The Texas Department of Transportation says that a first offender convicted of a DUI can face a fine of up to $2,000, as many as 180 days in jail and a staggering annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for three years to retain his or her driver's license. In addition, anyone who refuses to submit to a breath or blood test when requested by a police officer will have their driver's license automatically suspended for 180 days. The penalties are even more severe for subsequent offenders.
There are a number of precautions people can take to avoid being arrested for drunk driving this holiday season, says Psych Central. These include:
- Saying no when friends urge you to drink more.
- Setting limits to how many drinks you plan to have before attending a party.
- Designating a sober driver before going out.
- Providing non-alcoholic beverage options when hosting a holiday gathering.
By following common sense rules regarding drinking and driving, and encouraging friends to do the same, it's possible to enjoy the holiday season without facing severe DUI penalties
, or the life-changing consequences of a drunk driving accident.
Contacting an attorney
Anyone arrested on suspicion of drunk driving has the right to be represented fairly in court and have his or her side heard. Depending on the circumstances, an experienced drunk driving defense attorney may be able to get some charges lessened or dropped. Consulting with an attorney can help you understand your rights when you're dealing with DUI charges.
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