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Holiday DWIs: Dos and Don'ts

We want to discuss the reasons why driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests spike each year in New York State whenever the holidays roll around – the jump is so significant, some law enforcement groups call the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day “DWI season” – and what you can do to avoid the consequences of getting one. But before we get into it, we want to stress that you should never intentionally drink and drive. No matter how confident you are in your tolerance, one beverage could jeopardize your safety. Please find alternative methods home whenever you have had alcohol. Thank you.

Why Do DWIs Increase During the Holidays?

There are two primary reasons why more people are getting arrested for DWIs whenever the snow starts to fall. One of them is that celebrating with friends and family typically steers towards the consumption of alcohol; it’s a beloved pastime, after all. People who normally might not drink most of the year could feel inclined to have some eggnog as they enjoy one another’s company.

The second reason is that the police know about the first reason; thus, they double their efforts and put more presence out on the road. What’s more, they are expecting people to be driving drunk, and you might already know the old mantra about ‘only seeing what you want to see.’ Drivers who are under the limit – proven by a breathalyzer or chemical test – could still be cited with a DWI if the officer thinks they were posing a danger to others on the road.

How Can You Avoid a DWI?

As mentioned before, the best way is to not drink and drive. But with that said, sometimes you have to get home and you truly do feel fully capable of driving safely. In these situations, remember to slow down, perhaps five miles under the posted speed limit. New York can get hit by cold snaps, and you do not want to go quickly over patches of slick roads or ice, especially if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is anywhere above 0.

You should also know your rights if you are pulled over. Field sobriety tests can actually be denied without an immediate revocation of your driver’s license. If you do not feel comfortable being tested for sobriety roadside, let the officer know and it could save you from being falsely identified as drunk. However, know that any chemical test you refuse will allow the DMV to immediately revoke your license, sometimes for up to a year.

If you have already been arrested for a DWI in New York, the time to take action to defend yourself from harsh consequences is now. Contact our Westchester County DWI lawyers from Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP today and tell us what is going on. You can also call 914.840.5104 to request a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation.

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