As the weather grows colder, people start preparing for the holidays. Kids begin designing this year’s exciting new Halloween costume, and their parents start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas gifts.
Many people are so excited about the holidays that they don’t consider the safety implications of these special events. When there are many children out on the streets trick or treating, the risk of a minor pedestrian crash is the highest it is at any point throughout the year.
On the holidays, there will be thousands of people traveling to spend time with their loved ones, increasing the level of traffic and the risk of a crash. Additionally, there will likely also be more police officers out patrolling the roads not just to respond to traffic incidents but also to watch for drunk drivers.
Drunk driving crashes increase on the holidays every year
Essentially all of the major holidays have a known correlation with increased drunk driving wrecks. Often, the most dangerous weekend to be out on the road is either the weekend closest to the Fourth of July or closer to New Year’s Day. However, there are also typically many drunk drivers on the roads during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and around Christmas time.
Some people overindulge at parties and then realize they still have to go home for the night. Others may escape their families by dipping out to a bar for a little liquid courage, only to cause a crash on their way back home.
Given the strong correlation between holiday weekends and drunk driving fatalities, police departments all over South Carolina are more likely to have officers out monitoring for drunk drivers. Some jurisdictions may even set up sobriety checkpoints on major thoroughfares during holiday weekends to look for and deter drunk drivers.
Police officers looking for intoxication can misinterpret the evidence
People could fail field sobriety tests for numerous reasons. They may act nervous during encounters with police officers for issues that have nothing to do with their current driving ability. There are medical reasons why people might perform poorly on both field sobriety tests and chemical breath tests.
Unfortunately, officers convinced that there are drunk drivers out and about are less likely to listen to explanations that deviate from their expectations. Drivers who have no alcohol in their system or who are under the legal limit could find themselves arrested and facing charges because of the potentially overzealous efforts of the police officers monitoring for drunk drivers around the holiday season.
Understanding that your risk for facing drunk driving charges will go up around the holidays and help you make better decisions if you encounter the police on the road.