Holiday DUI

By Lowry Law Firm | Posted on January 5, 2016 Alcohol Use Around the Winter Holidays

The winter holiday season is a time of celebration. Many Americans celebrate this time of year at parties, events, and family gatherings. Time spent with loved ones, eating festive meals, and drinking is often how people celebrate the holidays. More people drink during the winter holidays than at other times during the year. This occurs for a few reasons. For one, many people are attending holiday parties and get-togethers where alcohol is served. Additionally, problem drinkers tend to drink more during the holidays. And finally, people drink to reduce stress brought on by the holidays.

DUIs and the Holidays

Because more people are celebrating and drinking during this time of year, drinking and driving incidents occur at a higher rate. Statistics show that during the winter holiday season, percentages of deaths due to drunk driving accidents increase. During the rest of the year, deaths related to drunk driving accidents account for 31 percent of all automobile-related deaths. This increases to 40 percent during the entire winter holiday season. Specifically, deaths due to drunk driving accidents increase to 40 percent at Thanksgiving, 37 percent on Christmas, and 58 percent at New Year’s. Not surprisingly, there is an increase in DUI offenses during this time as well. For example, DUI offenses go up 30 percent on Thanksgiving, 33 percent on Christmas Eve, and 155 percent on New Year’s Eve. There are also more people travelling on roads this time of year. Up to 90 million Americans will travel by car around the holidays. The holiday rush mixed with winter weather conditions and inebriated driving creates more risk for automobile accidents.

The Cost of a DUI

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida are harsh. A first-time DUI conviction can carry a jail sentence of six to nine months, a fine of $500 to $1,000, a driver’s license suspension for six months to one year, and an ignition interlock. An ignition interlock is a breathalyzer device that a driver must breath into in order to start their vehicle. If any trace of alcohol is detected, the car will not start. If the blood alcohol level is .15 or more, the monetary fines are doubled. Anyone convicted of a DUI may also have to complete DUI school, undergo substance abuse assessments and treatment, and complete community service hours. In addition to paying court fines, there are financial costs related to other penalties. For example, there are costs for DUI school, driver’s license reinstatement, installation and rental fees for the ignition interlock device, and increased car insurance costs. If there are multiple convictions or if someone is hurt in the accident, penalties increase.

Charged With a DUI?

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is critical to get legal representation. You do not have to face this challenge alone. Contact Mark S. Lowry, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A former prosecutor, Mark S. Lowry has years of experience defending clients in criminal court. Mark S. Lowry is committed to defending and supporting you through your case.