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Drinking & Driving Around the Holidays

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Impaired driving around the holidays continues to be a problem in Kentucky. Over the last five years, 25 fatalities involving drunk driving occurred around Christmas and New Year’s Eve in the state.

How You can Contribute to Safe Driving During Holidays

As a driver, you can be proactive in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during the holiday season by following some simple rules. If you have been drinking with friends or family, make it a point to find a ride back home. This is not just a gift you can give to yourself and your family, but also to everyone else on the road.

Plan for such parties in advance where you expect to consume alcohol. You may arrange for a designated driver, call a cab, book yourself for the night at a nearby motel, or even sleep for a few hours on the couch at your friend’s home. If you have chosen not to drink at a get-together, but you see some others who have, volunteer to give them a ride.

If you are a host who serves alcohol during a holiday party, make it your responsibility to ensure that all the guests commute safely after the occasion. During the party, keep an eye on the guests who are drinking.

At the end of the party, if you find that they do not have a designated driver with them, request for their car keys so that they do not make a bad judgment about driving drunk. Help these guests to return home safely by using ride sharing services such as Uber or Lyft.

Days When You should be Extra Vigilant on the Road

Although it is a good idea to drive more carefully on all days between December 15th and January 1st, you should be particularly wary on certain days. Christmas Day itself usually does not generate too many drunk drivers on the roads in Kentucky as people prefer to stay home, but Christmas Eve is more dangerous.

By some estimates, traffic stops related to DUI increase by as much as 33 percent on Christmas Eve. Many people tend to overindulge themselves at get-togethers with friends and family as well as at office parties on this day. Similarly, New Year’s Eve is significantly more dangerous than other days on the road. Nearly 40 percent of all car accidents on New Year Even involve at least one drunk driver.

Teenagers, who are not likely to have as much driving experience, should be particularly careful on these dangerous driving days. Teens are out on the roads in greater numbers during the holiday season, and they tend to revel and party during this festive time. But following some simple rules can save their own lives as well as lives of others on the road.

Kentucky’s DUI Laws

Under Kentucky DUI laws, the following individuals are prohibited from operating a vehicle:

  • If their blood alcohol content is .08% or higher (for commercial vehicle drivers, the threshold is .04% or higher, and for minors under age 21, the threshold is .02% or higher)
  • If they are “under the influence” of alcohol or any controlled substance, or a combination of the two, which impairs their ability to operate a vehicle
  • If they have any amount of specific listed illicit substances in their blood (such as cocaine or methamphetamine

In Kentucky, a violation with a BAC of .08% or above is treated as a “per se DUI.” This means the violation can lead to a DUI conviction irrespective of the individual’s actual degree of impairment. Remember that the number of alcoholic beverages you consume to exceed these BAC levels can vary according to your body size, gender and the type of drink.

Consequences of a DUI conviction may include imprisonment, fine and license suspension, but the quantum of these punishments is limited by a few parameters. These parameters will depend on the number of DUI convictions you may have had in the last 10 years. The law will count DUI violations that may have occurred in Kentucky or outside the state.

Choose a Seasoned DUI Defense Attorney for Legal Advice

In the approaching holiday season, it is worth making the extra effort to drive sober and obey all the traffic rules. However, if you still happen to be charged for DUI in Kentucky during the holidays or at any other time, you need to have a dedicated and skilled Louisville DUI and criminal defense attorney on your side.

Ron Aslam Law Office is committed to protecting your rights and will provide you with high-quality legal support and advice in a DUI case. Call 502-581-1676 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.