The majority of Californians will be traveling over the next couple weeks to visit family and friends for the holidays, to take care of last-minute shopping or just to get from place to place as they always do. No matter where you’ll be traveling this month, please remember that Southern California roads will be more dangerous, both physically and legally.
Major holidays in the United States are almost always associated with higher rates of drunk driving and drunk-driving accidents. As such, holidays also tend to be periods of increased enforcement of traffic laws. The California Highway Patrol is already warning drivers that it and local law enforcement agencies will be out in full force essentially through the beginning of 2015.
Although the Maximum Enforcement Period will be focused on catching and arresting drunk drivers, law enforcement agencies will likely be cracking down on other violations as well, including distracted driving, speeding and failing to wear a seat belt. The risk of being pulled over for any offense will be higher during the next couple weeks.
If you will be attending holiday parties where alcohol is served, it’s a good idea to secure a designated driver before going out for the evening. If you cannot find one, other safe options include public transportation or hailing a taxi.
Remember that even if you are under the limit and therefore not considered legally drunk, you may still be at a higher risk for an accident and you can still be charged (in some cases) with impaired driving. Therefore, the safest and most reliable plan is to seek alternative transportation if you’ll be drinking at all.
If you are charged with impaired or drunk driving, please remember that you have a lot at stake. As such, you should seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Source: Santa Clarita Valley Signal, “CHP pushes for a DUI and Fatality Free Holiday Season,” Dec. 18, 2014