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Holiday season brings increased DUI charges

The holidays have officially arrived and many South Carolina residents are looking forward to fun get-togethers with family and friends. Many started their celebrations over Thanksgiving and will continue the festivities right through New Year's Day. Though most will ride out the end of the year with good memories and great experiences, others will find themselves facing serious DUI charges from increased drunk driving enforcement.

All across the country and right here in the state many people have started referring to the day before Thanksgiving as "Blackout Wednesday," making a play on words out of the "Black Friday" designation given to the biggest shopping day of the year. Since many people do not have to work on Thanksgiving and many college-aged students are home for the holiday, drinking on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is becoming a highly popular trend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have discovered that the rate of injury and death from drunk driving accidents almost triples during the period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, leading many localities to increase their lookouts for intoxicated drivers. Last year, 10 people in South Carolina died on the roads over the Thanksgiving holiday and nationally 728 people died between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Because of these alarming statistics some police departments will be vigilant about stopping drivers suspected of intoxication.

While it always best to make a plan for transportation before driving, people who find themselves charged with a crime are not without options. Though the potential consequences for a DUI conviction are serious, defenses are available that can reduce or eliminate the consequences of the arrest. While defending a DUI charge may not be what most South Carolina residents want to do over the holidays, it may be in people's best interest to understand their rights.

Source: WBTW 13 News, "'Blackout Wednesday' growing as night of binge drinking and DUIs," Nov. 27, 2013

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