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Last updated 11/15/2019
The Thanksgiving holiday week is upon us. You may be on the road, whether you're driving to the in-laws to eat some turkey or to your friend's house to watch the game. Just make sure you don't let a Thanksgiving DUI ruin your holiday.
While Thanksgiving may not be considered a heavy drinking day like New Year's Eve or St. Patrick's Day, most law enforcement agencies consider the Thanksgiving weekend to be one of the busiest for DUI enforcement.
So, if you think you may get a bit tipsy this Turkey Day, don't get behind the wheel. Law enforcement agencies are again set to enforce Thanksgiving DUI checkpoints from coast to coast.
Over the last five years, hundreds of people have died in vehicle accidents caused by drunk driving during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. As is the case with many holidays, alcohol is often a part of seasonal celebrations and law enforcement agencies are taking steps to keep roads safe.
Many cities and towns are gearing up for Thanksgiving by setting up DUI checkpoints. At these checkpoints, police officers will typically check drivers for signs of intoxication. Despite some legal challenges, DUI checkpoints are generally considered legal if they're conducted in a reasonable way. This means that police should develop some sort of neutral criteria (for example, every third car) in determining which drivers they stop.
If you do get busted for a Thanksgiving DUI, you may consider it a gift that keeps on giving as far as punishments are concerned. With a DUI conviction, you can expect to pay fines and penalties and even possibly spend a few nights in jail. You may also have to pay thousands in attorney's fees. In addition, if you have to install an ignition interlock device in your car, you should expect to pay even more for installation and other fees related to the device.
The best way to avoid a Thanksgiving DUI arrest is, of course, to not drive drunk in the first place. If you think you will have a drink or two, it's always wise to designate a sober driver ahead of time, call a taxi, or simply crash on the nearest couch.