As the end of the year celebrations approach, families and loved ones come together to spend time with one another. More often than not, these celebrations see a lot of drinking – and Florida police are aware of that. While DUIs are more common around the holidays, are Florida police officers permitted to enhance DUI penalties on New Year’s Eve?
The short answer is that the consequences for a DUI are not more severe on a holiday. If you have an existing criminal record, though, or if your DUI results in an accident, the consequences brought against you may be more severe. It’s always a good idea to talk to a criminal traffic violations attorney, like those at the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford, if you want to learn more about your holiday DUI charge.
Are DUIs More Common Around the Holidays?
New Year’s Eve means that several people travel home or to friends’ houses to celebrate the passing of the year. This sharp increase in traffic is dangerous on its own. Compound that traffic with the consequences of so many celebrations – drinking, in particular – and police officers have to take extra care when trying to protect drivers from one another.
It’s with this in mind that police officers may be more inclined to charge a driver with a DUI if they’re driving recklessly on New Year’s Eve. This inclination, however, does not mean that the consequences of a Florida DUI will be more severe because of the holiday.
The Consequences of a DUI During the Holidays
While Florida does and can issue enhanced DUI charges against intoxicated drivers who behave recklessly on the road, the holiday season does not allow police officers to unduly charge you for allegedly driving while intoxicated. If you’re accused of driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve, you should face the same charges you’d face at any other time of the year.
Accusations That Can Complicate a DUI Charge
With that being said, there are factors related to the holidays that might complicate a DUI charge. For example, if an intoxicated driver allegedly causes an accident that does significant damage to surrounding property and/or parties, the consequences of that behavior may be more severe than a standard DUI charge. Other accusations that can complicate a DUI charge on New Year’s Eve include:
- Belligerent or uncooperative behavior when interacting with a police officer
- Previous DUI convictions
- Alleged intoxication which resulted in the death of a related party
- Driving without the proper insurance or driving with a suspended license
These behaviors can increase the fines and jail time that an accused party faces for a DUI charge. You may also face the revocation of your license and the immobilization of your vehicle depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI charge.
Contesting DUI Charges During the Holidays
Not everyone charged with a DUI will face conviction for their alleged behavior. There are arguments that you and an experienced attorney can make that may bring the charges leveled against you into question. These can include:
- The use of an involuntary breathalyzer test as evidence of intoxication (Florida Statute §316.1932)
- Skewed or otherwise inaccurate breathalyzer test results
- An illegal traffic stop
- Lack of probable cause
You can also discuss reducing the charges brought against you if this is your first DUI charge or if police officers otherwise charge you with “wet reckless” driving. You can discuss these arguments and how best you can approach them during an initial case consultation with a DUI criminal defense attorney in Florida.
Let’s Address Your DUI Charges Together at the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford
There’s nothing as fun as celebrating New Year’s Eve with the people you care about. However, if you’re drinking this holiday season, you need to be careful. While Florida police officers cannot worsen the consequences of a DUI during the holiday season, the standard losses can still impact your plans for the future.
Should you face criminal DUI charges this holiday season, let the Law Office of Robert H. Hanaford come to your defense. You can collaborate with our DUI criminal defense attorneys in Florida to combat your charge in court. Learn more about our services by contacting our office at (239) 315-9750 or through our online contact form.