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Avoiding a DWI This Holiday Season

The holidays have come around again and as we all grapple with another season full of shopping, events, and parties, it's important to be vigilant for another thing that comes with the holidays: more drunk driving. Every year, law enforcement augments its patrols to catch drivers coming from bars and restaurants, parties, and other holiday gatherings where they have been drinking.

What kind of penalties to these drivers face if convicted?

  • First offense: up to 1 year in jail, $1,000 in fines, 6-month minimum license suspension.
  • Second offense: up to 4 years in jail, $5,000 in fines, 1-year minimum license suspension
  • Third offense: up to 7 years in jail, $10,000 in fines, 1-year minimum license suspension

Other fees and penalties may apply—like the installation of an ignition interlock device. Also worth noting with all the family gatherings and traveling this season: being caught driving drunk with minors in the car is a Class E felony under Leandra's Law. If you have been charged with any of these offenses, the time to speak with a proven Hudson Valley DWI defense attorney is now.

For more information on New York's drunk driving laws, please refer to the DMV's latest informational brochure on the topic.

Avoiding a Drunk Driving Charge

As you can see, the penalties associated with DWI conviction are enough to ruin anyone's holiday season. Fortunately, there are easy ways to ensure that you and your friends and loved ones avoid a drunk driving arrest between now and New Year (and, frankly, any time of year):

  • Use a designated driver: still the easiest and most reliable way to ensure your ride home at the end of the night is a sober one.
  • Plan for overnight stays: if you're hosting a party, take a moment to make sure a few guests who need to stay the night to sober up have the pillows and blankets they need to comfortably do so.
  • Try ride-sharing: have you downloaded Uber or Lyft to your phone yet? It may be time to try it for quick and cheap rides to and from your next holiday party.
  • Call a taxi: the most expensive choice, but still far less costly than the fines and fees that come with a DWI conviction.

If you have been charged with a DWI this holiday season, make sure that you properly explore your legal options. At Michael R. Varble & Associates, P.C., Attorney Varble is a dedicated and aggressive Hudson Valley DWI defense attorney capable of securing favorable results for his clients. Contact our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.

And from everyone at Michael R. Varble & Associates, P.C.:

Have a Happy & Safe Holiday Season!