People get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses throughout the year. Police officers on traffic duty will watch for signs of intoxication and test those involved in collisions. Drivers can theoretically get arrested at any time.
There are certain times of the year when officers will watch more carefully for potentially impaired drivers. The holidays often see an increase in enforcement efforts, including a higher presence of police officers on the road.
Why do police departments focus more on drunk driving around the holidays?
The holidays see an uptick in drunk driving collisions
The sad truth is that drunk driving around the holidays is a very consistent safety issue. There tend to be more drunk driving fatalities on major holidays, including New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, than there are on other days throughout the year. Research into national collision reports indicates that an average of 667 people each year die due to drunk driving around the holidays.
Additionally, the weekends immediately before and after the holidays also tend to see more drunk driving collisions and fatalities. Therefore, police departments frequently intensify their efforts around the holidays to catch people drinking more than usual due to family celebrations or time off of work.
Officers may be quicker to pull people over and more likely to suspect intoxication around the holidays than they would throughout the rest of the year. Drivers who get arrested will need to review their situation carefully to see what defense options may be available. Understanding why officers are more assertive about drunk driving near major holidays could help people better respond to a recent arrest.