New Year’s Day may be a notorious holiday for drinking and driving, but according to the Department of Transportation, Thanksgiving statistically proves the more dangerous date1, followed by Labor Day and Independence Day. Bar professionals refer to the day before Thanksgiving as “Black Wednesday” (sometimes “Blackout Wednesday”) because of the major crush of patrons they receive that night.
As you might guess, the earliest hours of Thanksgiving morning become a witch hunt of sorts. Patrolling officers will be seeking out drivers who aren’t following the rules of the road to a T.
Stay safe and stay out of jail this year by staying aware of the risks and doing what you can to lower them. Remember, law enforcement officials are going to require a blood alcohol test for anyone they deem suspicious during the holidays.
On the Roads
Unsurprisingly, law enforcement officials know that Thanksgiving and other holidays mean an influx of intoxicated drivers. So they up the ante on no refusals in an effort to prevent the happiest time of the year from turning tragic. This is a very high-risk and emotionally-charged season for law enforcement officers and they will do whatever they can to get suspect drivers off the road.
A common problem associated with the police mentality is that everyone will be suspected of DWI, even when they are not intoxicated. As the old saying goes: “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” The police should keep our roads safe, but not to the degree of compromising individual freedoms. That’s why I’m here. I make sure the police are doing their job and not overstepping their duties and invade your constitutional rights.
No Refusal (Watch Out, Out of Towners!)
No refusal is a pretty straightforward concept. If you get pulled over, and refuse a breath test, they will forcibly draw your blood. This is already standard procedure in places like Harris County, but it may come as a surprise to visitors from areas with few instances of no refusal.
The situation is going to stay the same through the first of the New Year. Because the holidays generally involve higher alcohol consumption, heavier traffic, poor weather and more distracted drivers – it’s expected that many counties will go all-out on no refusal around Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other major weekends. Anyone out on the road should be diligent when driving, even if sober.
Distracted and disoriented drivers can sometimes behave in a manner similar to their intoxicated counterparts… and prove just as dangerous. In fact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put out a study that drowsy drivers mimic intoxicated drivers. NHTSA is the same agency that governs the Standard Field Sobriety tests.
Remember: The best way to navigate no refusals is to go with a breath test when offered the choice. Breath tests are easier to beat than blood tests. More info on roadside DWI tests.
We’ve Got Your Back
Thiessen Law Firm wants you to stay safe this holiday season. But if you get pulled over for a DWI or a DUI, we’ll provide you with award-winning service to defend you. Request a free consultation today.
1. Elliott, Hannah (2009, November 20). Most Dangerous U.S. Holidays. Forbes. Retrieved November 4, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/20/dangerous-holidays-fatalities-lifestyle-vehicles-cars-traffic-accidents.html.