Tampa, Florida – The Thanksgiving holiday weekend has been declared the most deadly four-day holiday period on roadways in the United States. In fact, between 1998 and 2008, an average of 572 deaths occurred annually on highways across the country. While many of these deaths can be attributed to increased travel and congested areas of traffic, 36 percent of these deaths were alcohol-related.
Because alcohol is as much a part of the Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and stuffing, this holiday is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks, it is important to bring up the issue of drinking and driving. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 136 drunk drivers were removed from Florida’s roadways last Thanksgiving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 431 traffic accident deaths during this holiday period, with nearly half being a direct cause of drinking and driving.
Due to the fact that the Thanksgiving holiday presents many alcohol-related dangers to travellers, it is important to remind drivers of a few considerations this holiday weekend:
1. Florida is one of many states that will be cracking down on DUIs this holiday season. Expect to see increased law enforcement on the roads this weekend looking to arrest impaired drivers. With that said, do not get behind the wheel of a car if you have been drinking.
2. Even if you do not drink or are not planning to this Thanksgiving, be extra cautious when navigating the roads. Since Thanksgiving is a big drinking holiday, take proactive measures to protect yourself and the ones you love from the unpredictable actions of drunk or impaired motorists.
3. Florida DUI laws are strict, even for first-time offenders. A first time DUI conviction can carry stern penalties, including mandatory jail time, hefty fines, vehicle impound, suspension of your driver’s license, ignition interlock, probation, DUI School and community service.
4. Understand your limits, and refrain from driving after consuming alcohol. Plan for a safe ride home before you engage in festivities just to be safe. You always have options, so call a cab or assign a friend to be the designated driver for the night. You can even use public transportation.
Thanksgiving is a time for celebration with friends and family, and a DUI charge can ruin your good times. With that said, be smart this holiday weekend and use good judgment. Yours and the safety of others is definitely something to be thankful for.
Should you find yourself the victim of a wrongful DUI arrest this holiday weekend, you do have rights. A Florida DUI Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you fight any DUI charge no matter how serious. We are available 24/7, so do not hesitate to call us statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529 if you are arrested over the Thanksgiving holiday.