Thanksgiving eve is a big party night for some, and has been called “Drinksgiving” or “Blackout Wednesday” by various news outlets and on social media. It is one of the busiest days for the bars and restaurants in the United States. As many college kids return from school, it’s a night to catch up with friends and have a couple of drinks. The problem is, when you have too many and decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle you risk an arrest or wreck. Alcohol impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and make smart decisions. While it is not a crime to drink and drive, it is one to drink too much and drive.
It is also illegal in Maryland to drive a vehicle with drugs or controlled dangerous substances in your system. Drugs, including over the counter drugs, can impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The police have trained officers who can recognize the use of drugs and you will be charged with DWI is found to have them in your system.
From 2012 to 2016, over 800 people died nationwide in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the one of the deadliest holidays periods on the road, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A 2017 poll of Maryland drivers commissioned by AAA Mid-Atlantic found that 85 percent of drivers feel that people driving after drinking alcohol is a somewhat to very serious threat to their personal safety.
Maryland State Police and Maryland Transportation Authority Police, along with local law enforcement, will be increasing patrols over the holiday week targeting impaired drivers. If you are stopped for drinking and driving, you could be facing serious consequences. They may include the loss of your license to drive and time in jail. If you have been charged with drunk driving, you should speak with a DUI lawyer to find out about your options. The Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack will be conducting a sobriety check-point in Harford County the night before Thanksgiving, November 22, 2017.
The Law Offices of Randolph Rice is reminding anyone headed out the night before Thanksgiving to make a plan is they want to drink. That plan may include the use of a ride service like Uber or Lyft as well as traditional taxi services. There are some taxi services that offer “Tipsy Taxi” services during the holidays. This allows individuals traveling home from bars and restaurants that may have had too much to drink to find a safe way home.
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Maryland and you have questions, speak with one of our DUI & DWI lawyers today.