We are almost at the end of a year that most Americans would like to forget. Therefore, New Year’s Day can’t come fast enough. Thankfully, it will arrive at the end of the week. If you’re planning to celebrate with alcohol, please remember to do so responsibly. Even though Covid-19 has changed public behavior considerably this year, we are likely to see the same spike in drunk driving accidents and arrests that always seem to accompany the end-of-year holidays.
Local, statewide and national news outlets are reporting increased enforcement of DUI laws over the next week, and Florida is no exception. The Florida Highway Patrol and most local law enforcement agencies will be participating in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
On land, officers will be increasing DUI patrols and will be on high alert for those who may be driving impaired. But that’s not all. In South Florida, officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be patrolling waterways to catch those who may be operating boats while intoxicated. The patrol efforts will include sand bars and boat ramps.
As you get ready to toast to a new (and hopefully better) year to come, please plan ahead to avoid driving, it at all possible. There are numerous alternatives available, including finding a designated driver, hiring a rideshare service (Uber or Lyft), hailing a cab or taking a bus. Remember that the dangers you face are not just legal ones. Each day in the United States, approximately 29 people are killed in alcohol-related crashes, and those numbers always spike around holidays like New Year’s Eve.
Whenever there are periods of increased enforcement, there is a greater risk of law enforcement mistakes and misconduct. If you will be driving at all over the next several days – particularly after dark – keep in mind that you could be pulled over and charged with DUI even if you are well under the legal limit. When faced with such a situation, the wisest move is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.