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All Press Releases for December 18, 2013 »
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NHTSA campaign aims to prevent holiday buzzed driving

A police officer can still arrest a driver if he or she had a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 percent, if the officer has reason to believe the person's driving has been affected.
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    December 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- As anyone can guess, the holidays are an especially dangerous time for drinking and driving. Many people are going to be out celebrating and drinking at various times, from Thanksgiving weekend all the way through New Year's Eve. There's nothing wrong with having a good time, but drinking and driving can ruin the holidays.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, over 26,000 people are arrested for drinking and driving, and 150 people are killed each year in the state in alcohol-related accidents. The penalties for drinking and driving are severe in Colorado, to protect people on the road from drunk driving accidents and to prevent people from making the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking.

New campaign to shed light on "buzzed" drinking and driving

In years past, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration focused on the popular "Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk" campaign. It's estimated that thousands of lives were saved through this campaign, as many people intervened to keep their friends from getting behind the wheel drunk. However, drunk driving deaths have been increasing again since the late 1990s, so the NHTSA and Ad Council are attempting to raise public awareness about buzzed driving, or driving after having just a few drinks.

The New York Daily News says a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent, less than the national legal limit, can still affect vision, muscle coordination, reaction times and judgment for drivers. This type of buzzed driving can contribute to accidents, even if a driver isn't legally drunk. According to Colorado state law, a police officer can still arrest a driver if he or she had a blood alcohol content between 0.05 and 0.08 percent, if the officer has reason to believe the person's driving has been affected.

Anyone found guilty of drinking and driving can face strict penalties, including license suspension, a fine of up to $1,000, public service and even jail time. Additionally, if a person under the influence of alcohol caused injury or death in an accident, he or she faces even harsher penalties.

The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for drunk driving accidents, says Psych Central. People attend more parties and there are more drivers on the road doing holiday shopping. Wet and icy road conditions can also contribute to accidents, whether a driver has been drinking or not. There are a few steps people can take to prevent drunk driving accidents among their family and friends this holiday season:
- Offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages at parties and family gatherings.
- Designate sober drivers before attending or hosting a party.
- Choose the amount of drinks that are acceptable to have before drinking, and don't go over that amount.
- Say no to pressure to drink more, or to get in a vehicle after drinking or with a driver who has been drinking.

Additionally, when drinking is viewed as a complement to a party, rather than the sole reason for attending, people are more likely to make smarter choices about drinking and driving.

Getting help from an attorney

Law enforcement will be extra vigilant in cities across the U.S. this holiday season. If you've been arrested on alcohol-related charges, you are entitled to fair representation in court. It can help to consult with an experienced drunk driving defense attorney to understand your rights.

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