With Thanksgiving Eve upon us, many families are looking forward to their most cherished holiday traditions. For many, this includes a night out at the bars the evening before the holiday.
Our Birmingham DUI lawyers know this is often referred to by those in law enforcement and hospitals as, “Black Wednesday.” Surprisingly, this night is second only to New Year's Eve in terms of a single night with the highest number of DUI arrests.
There are numerous reasons for this, which we'll explore further in a minute. The first thing you need to understand is that if you are arrested over the Thanksgiving weekend, it makes for a pleasant time for no one. However, the situation will be made inevitably worse if you fail to immediately contact an experienced Alabama DUI attorney.
The Alabama State Patrol reported that over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2010, there were 144 DUI arrests, which coincided with the agency's, “Take Back Our Highways” campaign. Also during that weekend, officials reported 3,087 speeding tickets and nearly 800 citations for child restraint or seat belt violations. Additionally, there were nearly 415 crashes and six people were killed.
The National Highway Patrol estimates that DUI crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2010 spiked by more than 30 percent when compared to the rest of the year. Across the country, 174 people were killed during that time frame.
Every year, the highway patrol – and many other local law enforcement agencies – start their annual ramped up holiday traffic enforcement on Thanksgiving weekend.
That brings us to the first reason we see so many DUI arrests on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and through the next several days. Police are LOOKING for it. They use a variety of tactics, but generally it involves some combination of DUI checkpoints and roving patrols. Specifically, they are out searching for those driving impaired, but they also look for speeders, those operating recklessly and red light runners.
Another reason we see so many citations, arrests and accidents over this particular weekend is because we have a huge increase in the amount of actual traffic. Millions of people throughout the country are making their way to the homes of family and friends to celebrate the holiday, and many try to make it there at least by the evening before. Everyone is in a rush, which can alternatively lead to speeding and other infractions.
Lastly, people are in a celebratory mood – or they just want to get away from all the family togetherness. You have a large number of college students who have traveled home from school who are looking forward to catching up with all their old high school friends, and usually the most central spot is at some local bar or club. Hoping to capitalize on this, numerous bars and restaurants host special events the night before Thanksgiving. This serves to bring even more people out – and for them to drink more when they arrive.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Birmingham, call Defense Lawyer Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.
‘Black Wednesday' raises holiday spirits — and the number of DUIs, Nov. 21, 2012, By Ihosvani Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel
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Alabama Man Sentenced 35 Years for DUI Homicide, Nov. 12, 2012, Birmingham DUI Defense Lawyer Blog