New Year’s DUIs: Don’t Become a Statistic

friends celebrating New Year’s with drinks

From December 29, 2019, to January 1, 2020, the Keystone State saw a huge increase in DUI charges–406 to be exact. This was up from the previous year’s number of 284. With New Year’s Eve around the corner and many people celebrating from home instead of in bars, restaurants, and other entertainment establishments, the hope is that the number of DUIs will be on the decline–at least one positive out of 2020.

Unfortunately, that may not be the case, even with the COVID-19 lockdowns in place. In an August edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, DUIs stayed basically the same throughout the pandemic compared to normal years.

In reviewing the data from DUI statistics of 2020 compared to 2019, the number of cases stayed fairly similar, despite shutdowns–including closing bars early on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

State officials and alcohol rehabilitation specialists agree that many are turning to alcohol to handle the stress that COVID-19 has brought on to so many. With unemployment still a problem and mandates still in place as coronavirus spikes continue to rise and the weather deteriorates, it’s no wonder that many are feeling the need to suppress their anxieties.

But that does not mean a DUI charge is excusable. If you are caught drinking and driving this New Year’s holiday, you can face extensive repercussions.

New Year’s DUI Penalties Will Stay With You For Years To Come

In Pennsylvania, a DUI can stay on your record for up to 10 years and lead to points on your driver’s license, impacting your ability to drive and maintain independence.

In addition, if you are charged with a DUI this New Year’s holiday weekend, you can face fines of $300 to $10,000 and years behind bars–especially if this is not your first offense or you have other crimes on your record.

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.

New Year’s DUI: Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam

If you are charged with a DUI this New Year’s 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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