On any regular day, DUI accidents account for about 35% of traffic deaths. On New Year’s Eve, these numbers almost double to around 62%, making New Year’s Eve and the start of New Year’s Day a very dangerous time to be on the roads. You can expect that law enforcement agencies around the state of Florida will be setting up DUI checkpoints on New Year’s Eve in an effort to stop drunk drivers from causing any unnecessary and deadly accidents.
The hours of midnight to 6 am on New Year’s Day have been slated as the most dangerous time to be on the road. With New Year’s Eve falling on a Friday this year and more bars open following prior year’s COVID restrictions, you can expect that more people will be out partying, thus more impaired drivers on the streets.
The legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit to drive is .08, but reports show that more than half of all arrested on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day involve impaired drivers that have BAC over .15. To break these numbers down, at .05 BAC depth perception begins to diminish and focusing can become tricky. At .08 BAC you can expect your depth perception to be nonexistent and your reaction time extremely delayed. At .15 BAC, you may not be able to remember anything at all and cannot react to anything as your reality is significantly blurred.
If you are heading out to a bar, restaurant, or party on New Year’s Eve, then do not get behind the wheel of a car if you have been drinking. You should be fully sober if you plan to drive. It does not matter if you are in the city or suburbs, you will likely pass a DUI checkpoint on your way home. If you try and avoid the checkpoint, officers often notice this behavior and will stop you anyways.
Once you are at a DUI checkpoint, law enforcement officers will ask for your license, registration, and proof of insurance. They will also ask if you have had any alcohol prior to driving and if there is any in the vehicle with you. Just a tip: you do not have to answer their questions – all you are required by law to do is provide them with your basic information and paperwork. If the police officer asks you to perform a breathalyzer test or perform field sobriety testing, you have the right to submit or refuse. Keep in mind that if you submit to the test and fail, you will be arrested for DUI and taken to jail. If you refuse, then you will also be arrested and will have to submit to chemical testing once you have been taken to jail.
If you are arrested for DUI at a checkpoint or elsewhere this New Year’s Eve/Day, then you want to contact our Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton as soon as you are able to so that we can get started helping with your case. You want to remember as many details about your arrest as possible so that we can use this information to your advantage. Time frames, the arresting officer’s name, witnesses, etc. can all be helpful to your case.
How You Can Avoid a DUI on New Year’s Eve/Day
If you find yourself out on New Year’s Eve and without a sober ride home, Florida does have other options for getting home safe. You can use ride sharing apps, like Uber and Lyft, call a cab, or use public transportation. AAA also has their “Tow to Go” program that will be in full effect from 6pm Friday, December 24th – 6am Monday, January 3rd. This program is available to AAA members AND non-members. You can call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 to get a sober ride to a location within a 10-mile radius.
Call Whittel & Melton at 866-608-5529 for DUI Help in Florida