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DWI Arrests Increase During the Holidays

The holiday season means spending time with family and friends. For millions of Americans across the country, the holiday season is also synonymous with a noticeable increase in alcohol consumption. While enjoying wines, cocktails, or brews is a favorite way to celebrate for most, it can become a problem when it occurs before getting behind the driver’s wheel. For this reason, many safety groups and law enforcement agencies see the holiday season first and foremost as the busiest time of year for driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests and drunk driving accidents.

Fast stats about drinking and driving during the holiday season:

  • Nearly 50% of adult drivers in the country admit to drinking the most at family holiday parties than they do any other time of the year.
  • Fatal drunk driving accidents increased by 9% in 2020 over 2019, which was the largest increase recorded since 2006.
  • January 1st, New Year’s Day usually has more drunk drivers on the road than any other day of the year.
  • More than $12 billion in alcohol sales are made between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, with this number increasing each year.
  • About 55 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles to see friends and family each Thanksgiving.

How to Stop Holiday Drunk Driving

The best thing that you can do to stop holiday drunk driving is to never drive drunk. However, it is fair to want to enjoy an alcoholic drink during the holidays to have a fun, relaxing time with your friends and family.

If you plan on drinking during the holidays, keep these few safety tips in mind:

  • Choose a designated driver if you are traveling to someone else’s house for the holidays.
  • Arrange a spare bedroom, bed, or couch for people to use to spend the night sobering up if you are hosting for the holidays.
  • Do not let anyone underage drink alcohol at the holiday party—underage drivers can be more likely to drive drunk than older demographics.

Protect Your Rights After a DWI

Millions of Americans will drive after drinking alcohol this holiday season. While most of them will be under the BAC limit and still in good control of their vehicles, some will make the mistake of getting behind the steering wheel after having too many drinks. It’s important to accept that drinking and driving is a mistake, too. People don’t do it because they want to cause trouble. It is a lapse of better judgment that can bring unfortunate consequences for themselves and others.

If you make the mistake of drinking and driving this holiday season, and you are pulled over and arrested for it, then please remember that you aren’t a bad person for making that mistake. Also, remember that you aren’t even technically a criminal for drinking and driving until you are convicted of the crime. With these truths in mind, you should do everything that you can to protect your rights and driving privilege if you’re arrested and charged with a DUI or DWI, depending on where you live and the details of the alleged crime.

After a DWI arrest, try to remember these tips:

  • Remain cooperative with the Police Office. Do not resist arrest. Do not be confrontational.
  • Those things you say may be used against you! Cooperatively answering questions to confirm your identification and other basic background questions is fair, but you are under no obligation to answer questions that might incriminate you.
  • If you are fit to do so, performing roadside tests maybe wise, but if you have concerns about your ability to perform roadside field sobriety tests, than you may politely decline to do them. If you have medical reasons to decline, such as a bad back, it might make sense to explain that to the officer.
  • If you have any concerns regarding whether you are impaired, we recommend that you decline an invitation to submit to a breath or blood test. You should know, that declining the requested test will result in an administrative license suspension subject to a hearing to contest it. By the same token, submitting to the test with a result over a 0.08 BRAC will also result in an administrative suspension subject to a hearing to contest it.

New Hampshire Drivers Trust Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.

For DWI, DUI, and OUI (operating under the influence) defense cases across New Hampshire, locals know to trust first. Our approach involves demanding an administrative license suspension (“ALS”) hearing and the State’s discovery to both begin to prepare the case for a potential courtroom Trial and as an early step in the process where we pursue a potential negotiated resolution. Our Attorneys regularly try DUI cases in court and they regularly resolve them as well, securing advantageous outcomes for our clients where possible. Protecting you from the worst consequences of a single mistake is our passion and goal.

Call (888) 801-9916 or contact us online if you need legal help after a DWI arrest this holiday season or any other time of the year.

Useful Resources

  • “The Deadly Facts about Holiday Drinking and Driving” (
  • “AAA: New Year’s Day among deadliest days on nation’s roads” (FOX19 Now News)
  • “Holiday Binge Drinking” (American Addiction Centers)
  • “Alcohol-Impaired Driving” (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • “AAA: More Than 55 Million Travelers Taking to the Roads and Skies this Thanksgiving” (AAA Newsroom)