Anyone who plans to drive in Virginia this holiday season should know that it is extremely important to avoid an accident caused by drunk driving. For those Virginia residents who already have a drunk driving conviction, another DUI can result in severe penalties. The holiday season is known for increased efforts in Chesapeake and Suffolk, VA, and indeed across the country, to prevent drunk driving accidents. While such efforts can be extremely important for keeping the roads safe while people travel to visit friends and family members in Virginia, these increased efforts can mean that a person may be wrongly stopped and charged with drunk driving.
We want to say more about the increased efforts toward DUI prevention during the holiday season and to highlight the rights and responsibilities of anyone who is stopped on suspicion of drunk driving.
Uber and MADD Focus on Preventing Drunk Driving During the Holidays
When we think of increased DUI prevention efforts during the holiday season, many Virginians might imagine more DUI checkpoints across the state. For example, over the 2018 Labor Day Weekend, an article in the McLean Patch reported that Virginia State Police annoyed 94 separate DUI checkpoints and 612 saturation patrols across the state. Yet prevention efforts do not come from only the Virginia State Police. According to a recent report from NBC News, the ride-sharing service Uber has partnered with Mother Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in advance of Thanksgiving to prevent DUI accidents.
Through the MADD and Uber partnership, Uber plans to offer free rides so that people do not drive drunk. The collaboration raises awareness about drunk driving and emphasizes the importance of avoiding driving if you have had too much to drink. The report explains that more than 1,000 people suffer fatal injuries in DUI crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving Eve is “the deadliest night during the holiday season.”
Other Organizations Focus on DUI Prevention
Uber and MADD are not the only organizations focusing on DUI accident prevention during the holidays. According to an article in EHS Today, approximately 300 drunk driving fatalities have occurred across the country, on average, since 2012. In response, each year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launches a campaign known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” As part of the campaign, the NHTSA creates television advertisements that focus on drunk driving statistics during the holidays. This year, the NHTSA also engages with the public through internet infographics, which beg the public, “don’t wreck the holidays.”
The NHTSA reports that about 4,000 people have died in DUI crashes in December alone over the last five years.
Seeking Advice from a Suffolk DUI Lawyer If You Are Stopped for Drunk Driving in Virginia
It is important to avoid drinking and driving during the holiday season, and indeed all year. At the same time, increased awareness of DUI accidents during the holiday season can mean that you may need advice from a lawyer if you are stopped for drunk driving in Virginia. It is important for anyone who is stopped on suspicion of a DUI to know that refusing a breathalyzer test is a violation of Virginia’s implied consent law, and the penalties can be severe.
At the same time, you have the right to seek advice from an experienced Chesapeake DUI lawyer who can help to build your defense. Contact Shannon & Associates, P.C. for more information about how we can help with your case.