Don’t Drink and Drive This Thanksgiving Holiday

bottle of beer, handcuffs, christmas bow, and car keys piled together

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is considered to be Wednesday through Sunday, not just the federally observed Thursday celebration. With more young adults, in particular, celebrating what has become known as “Blackout Wednesday,” an unofficial holiday that encourages heavy drinking as many are returning home from college campuses or coming back to their hometowns, law enforcement is prepared to see a spike in alcohol-related car accidents in the coming days. However, with new mandates to slow the spread of COVID-19, bars and restaurants will not be able to serve alcohol on Wednesday evening–but that doesn’t mean gatherings won’t occur.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period. However, with COVID-19 mandates still in place, limiting occupancy in bars and restaurants to 50% of fire-code occupancy or 25% for those not self-certified, many drivers may think the roads will be safer–but that likely won’t be the case.

Despite quarantine mandates and lockdowns, millions are still likely to be traveling for Thanksgiving in the coming days. And with any holiday travel, comes holiday drinking.

No Turkey Behind Bars For Holiday DUIs

If you are charged with a DUI this Thanksgiving holiday, know that there are severe penalties in Pennsylvania for driving drunk depending on your blood alcohol content and if you have a prior criminal record. In Pennsylvania, this can mean $300 to $10,000 in fines and years behind bars.

Though many states have already begun their higher enforcement areas for holiday festivities, many drivers will still test their luck and get behind the wheel drunk.

Remember, you have a different alcohol tolerance than the rest of your family and friends. Just because your relative has three or four beers, you may begin to feel its effects after just two. Know your limits and know the law. If your BAC is .08 or above, you can be charged for drunk driving.

It’s not worth the risk.

But if you are caught drinking and driving during the holidays or any time of year, know that you have legal options, and Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam can help.

Thanksgiving Drunk Driving: Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam

If you are charged with a DUI this holiday, seeking legal representation right away can help you avoid expensive fines and time behind bars. Our firm works to help clients get an acquittal or a dismissal. In some cases where there is strong evidence against you, we will put in the time to try to minimize the damage of the charges. We may be able to work out an acceptable plea bargain that may include probation or the ARD program.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, do not delay. Contact Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam for a free consultation.

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