Do DUIs Spike in New Hampshire During the Holidays?

As holiday lights flicker on all across New Hampshire, the state enjoys a surge of social gatherings and celebrations, with alcohol often playing a starring role. But does a sharp increase in drunk driving–and DUI arrests–necessarily follow these festive events? Unfortunately, the statistics say yes. Even worse, there's also a spike in crash-related deaths during this "most wonderful time of the year."

In this article, we discuss statistics related to DUIs and the serious legal consequences that a New Hampshire DUI conviction can bring. We'll also debunk common myths related to drunk driving to help you celebrate the season safely. If you've been arrested for drunk or impaired driving in New Hampshire, reach out to the New Hampshire DUI lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A as soon as possible. Call us today at 888-332-5855 or contact us online for a free consultation. We assist clients throughout the state, from Lancaster to Manchester.

Holiday Drunk Driving Statistics

Driving under the influence is a significant problem in the U.S., claiming 13,384 lives in 2021 alone. But the problem magnifies around certain holidays. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show a noticeable increase in drunk driving accidents around Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving weekend, and the December holidays, from Christmas to New Year's Day.

During December 2021, there were 1,013 people in drunk driving-related traffic fatalities, according to the NHTSA. The gender gap in these incidents was stark, with male drivers almost four times more likely than female drivers to be impacted by drunk driving. In addition, drivers between 21 and 24 constituted a significant portion (27 percent) of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes during the month.

The dangers of night-time driving were particularly evident in December 2020, with 30 percent of drunk driving-related crashes occurring between 6 pm and 5:50 am. Notably, nearly half (44 percent) of these crashes transpired between midnight and 2:59 am, coinciding with the closing hours of bars and the departure of individuals after a night of drinking and celebration.

Thanks in part to solid law enforcement initiatives cracking down on impaired driving, New Hampshire has a relatively low number of deadly alcohol-related crashes during the holiday season compared to many other states. However, even a few deaths are too many, especially if it's your loved one who doesn't come home. What's more, you can suffer numerous additional repercussions from impaired driving, including serious injuries–from paralysis to broken bones–and life-changing legal consequences.

The Legal Consequences of Impaired Driving

New Hampshire has stiff DUI laws. A motorist may face a DUI conviction if the state can prove they operated a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher or if they were visibly impaired by alcohol or drugs, regardless of the BAC level. Commercial drivers and individuals under age 21 can be convicted for a BAC level of 0.02 percent or higher. If your BAC level is 1.6 percent or higher, you may be charged with an aggravated DUI, which can lead to more stringent penalties.

If you are convicted of DUI, expect significant disruption to your life. Mandatory penalties for a first offense in New Hampshire include a fine ranging from $500 to $1,200, plus a 24 percent assessment. You'll also face a minimum license loss of 9 months, with a maximum loss of two years. Drivers under 21 face elevated minimum penalties. Aggravated DWI or a second offense leads to a mandatory jail sentence and a longer minimum license loss than a regular first offense. All DUI convictions require a state-approved DUI education program, with a second offense necessitating a seven-day residential treatment and subsequent offenses requiring a 28-day residential treatment program.

Avoid Drunk Driving Myths

Unfortunately, too many people believe myths about drinking and driving and end up causing an accident or getting arrested for DUI. To stay safe this holiday season, if you plan to drink at a holiday event, arrange for a sober driver, whether a friend, taxi, or ride-share service, and don't subscribe to the following three myths.

Drinking coffee will make me sober. A stimulant like coffee might make you feel more alert after drinking alcohol, but it does not lower your BAC, nor does it increase coordination or reaction time behind the will. You are still at higher risk of getting into an accident or arrest for DUI after drinking coffee.

If I'm not showing signs of intoxication, I can drive. Many people believe if they're not slurring words or stumbling after drinking alcohol, then they can drive safely. But your driving skills and reaction times diminish before you show outward signs of intoxication.

If I stop drinking, I'm okay to drive an hour later. Generally, it takes 1-2 hours for the body to metabolize a drink. But the metabolism time can vary depending on the number of drinks you've had, your weight, age, how much you've eaten, and your level of tiredness.

Experienced DUI Attorneys in New Hampshire Can Help

If you get arrested for DUI during this holiday season or any other time, talk to an experienced New Hampshire DUI lawyer immediately. Tenn And Tenn, P.A. has represented drivers arrested for DUI throughout New Hampshire, including Lebanon, Concord, Derry, and beyond. We understand the seriousness of the consequences you face and will fight for fairness and the best outcome possible on your behalf. Contact us today at888-332-5855 or online for your free evaluation.

Related Posts
  • The “Drive High Get a DUI” Campaign in New Hampshire Read More
  • Impaired Driver Care Management Programs in New Hampshire Read More
  • Three Actions That Will Make Your Situation Worse After Getting Stopped for DUI in New Hampshire Read More
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