Halloween has passed, and the winter holiday season has officially begun. While you enjoy the holiday festivities, it’s also important to keep the risk of OWI in mind. This is true both for your physical safety, and also to prevent facing criminal charges this season.
OWI Holiday Statistics
OWI arrests and accidents tend to increase around summer and winter holidays. The biggest winter holidays for drinking alcohol include:
- Blackout Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Eve
In fact, New Year’s Eve is often considered the most dangerous holiday of the entire year for OWI.
Some additional fascinating statistics about winter holiday OWI are:
- Most adults report doubling their average drinking habits during the holiday season.
- The night before Thanksgiving, or Blackout Wednesday, alcohol sales at bars and restaurants increase over 100%.
- Hundreds of lives are lost due to impaired driving over Thanksgiving weekend.
- OWI patrols increase around holiday weekends.
- About ⅓ of car crashes involve an impaired driver.
- The chances of being involved in an OWI accident increase by over 40% around the winter holidays.
Avoid an OWI Arrest this Winter
While you are spending time with loved ones and attending numerous holiday events and parties, the last thing you want to face is an OWI charge. There are some steps you can take to decrease the odds that you will be stopped and subsequently arrested for operating a vehicle while impaired.
First, be sober if you are driving. If you know that you must drive your car home at the end of the party or night, be proactive and don’t drink alcohol. This ensures that you won’t be placed in a difficult position later in the night when it’s time to get home but you’ve had too much to drink. This also ensures that you can get home safely, rather than risk causing an OWI accident.
If you are planning on celebrating the winter holidays with alcohol, then it’s important to plan ahead. If you are attending parties with family members or others, ask about who will be staying sober and would be willing to serve as the designated driver for yourself and others in the group. If you are attending gatherings with your significant other, one of you may volunteer to stay sober and drive home at the end of the night. If no one volunteers to be the sober driver, then plan to either use a rideshare service to get home, or stay overnight at the host’s place if possible.
While you may plan ahead to avoid OWI, no plan is foolproof. You may unexpectedly find yourself being pulled over by the police. This is especially true because police officers are eager to make OWI arrests over the holidays, so they may stop drivers who commit even the most minor traffic offenses in hopes that they end up stopping an intoxicated driver. In these cases, it’s crucial that drivers know their rights.
If you are pulled over this holiday weekend, the best way to protect yourself is to know that:
- You have the right to remain silent
- You have the right to refuse field sobriety tests
- If you are arrested, you have the right to legal defense
Levine & Levine Attorneys at Law Can Help After a Holiday OWI
After a stressful last few years, many people are looking forward to the holidays with loved ones. If you are charged with a criminal offense this holiday season, reach out to our team of defense attorneys at Levine & Levine Attorneys at Law. We want to help you fight your case and get your life back on track after an ill-timed OWI arrest. Take detailed notes about your stop and arrest so you can share them with our attorneys. This will help us succeed in crafting the strongest defense possible. Set up an initial consultation today.