The holidays are here. In addition to celebrating with family and friends, the holiday season also means increased travel and perhaps a few too many adult beverages.
The holiday season also brings an increased emphasis on driving under the influence (DUI) prevention and enforcement. From December 15 through January 2, law enforcement agencies across Georgia will be engaging in a "high visibility" campaign to catch impaired drivers. While DUI is illegal year-round, there will be even more police on the roads looking for impaired drivers at this time of year.
As Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety described the holiday DUI enforcement campaign, "We're not hiding--nobody's hiding behind a billboard sign trying to do a 'gotcha.' We're telling you up front officers will be out there and they will place you under arrest."
Fulton County DUI Laws
More police looking for impaired drivers means there is a higher likelihood of being arrested if you overindulge at a party or family gathering during the holidays.
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe. A first DUI conviction in Fulton County is a misdemeanor, with penalties including at least 24 hours in jail, fines, probation, community service and a potential license suspension. Penalties for subsequent DUI convictions or causing an accident or injuries while driving under the influence are far more harsh.
In addition to the legal consequences, a DUI conviction can negatively affect your employment, education and housing opportunities. If you or a loved one is arrested for DUI this holiday season, don't put your future at risk. Contact an experienced Fulton County DUI attorney as soon as possible.
How to Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season
You don't want a DUI to ruin your holidays. Follow these tips to celebrate safely:
- Don't drive under the influence. This seems like an obvious thing to avoid, but unfortunately, it is quite easy to have a drink or two and get behind the wheel without realizing that you're legally too impaired to drive. It's also important to remember that alcohol isn't the only substance you need to worry about when driving. Over-the-counter medication, legally-prescribed drugs, and illegal drug use can all result in a DUI arrest.
- Designate a driver. If you expect that you will be drinking or using (legal or illegal) drugs, designate a sober driver. This person should take their responsibility seriously and abstain from all alcohol or other drug use.
- Find a safe ride home. If you have been drinking or using drugs, call a ride-sharing service or taxi, or take public transportation. AAA also offers a free Tow to Go service between December 22 and New Year's Day. This confidential service will transport a vehicle and driver to their home, up to 10 miles away.
- Look out for each other. If a friend or family member has had one too many, you will save them a lot of potential legal trouble by taking their keys and finding them a safe ride home.
We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.