We have all heard of Black Friday— but have you heard of Black Wednesday?
Black Wednesday is the day before Thanksgiving, and surprisingly, the worst day of the year for DUIs. That’s right, more drunk driving incidents occur on Black Wednesday than any other day of the year including the 4th of July or even New Year’s Eve.
Attorney Ben Stechschulte explains possible DUI penalties if you’re arrested for driving intoxicated this Thanksgiving.
Black Wednesday DUIs
Thanksgiving Eve, or Black Wednesday, is the top U.S. holiday for DUIs according to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA). On this day, there is a 68% increase in car crashes and almost 200 Americans lose their lives in drunk driving-related accidents.
This translates to 1 in 15 DUI fatalities
occurring on Black Wednesday.
This day sees a dangerous mix of unofficial ‘reunions’ with friends and staggering alcohol sales with increased traffic on the roads. Some local law enforcement may even set up DUI checkpoints to help deter drivers who have consumed more than the legal limit.
Learn More > Know Your Rights When Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint
Possible Consequences of Drinking and Driving
The State of Florida takes DUIs very seriously. There are many consequences for the crime of drinking and driving. The defense attorneys at Stechschulte Nell Law give four serious reasons for you to reconsider alcohol and driving as a part of your Thanksgiving weekend plans.
#1. Strict penalties: Even with a first-time offense, you may be looking at loss of driving privileges, expensive fines, and in severe cases, an ignition interlock device or potential jail time. If this is not your first DUI, expect more severe consequences.
#2. You May Hurt Someone: When you drink and drive, it is not just you that it affects. Alcohol reduces your reaction time, which means there is an increased chance of getting into a car accident, not only injuring yourself but any passengers and other drivers/passengers of other cars.
#3. DUI Follows You: A DUI charge follows you for life. In Florida, it will stay on your record for 75 years. You may see an increase in car insurance rates and the loss of a license means may not have the same life experiences as before a DUI. Plus, consider what it may mean to future employment opportunities.
#4. Spending the Holidays in Jail: If you are arrested for a DUI on Black Wednesday, you will likely have to wait until the following Monday to meet with a judge for an arraignment.
Make Safe Choices
You are still able to celebrate on Black Wednesday as long as you make safe choices and take appropriate steps to avoid a DUI. If not, you may need to make the call to an experienced DUI lawyer to help mitigate the penalties from past bad decisions.
To avoid a DUI, consider these helpful tips:
- Do not drive: Consider alternative transportation. Choose a designated driver or use a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft if you plan on drinking.
- Stay local: If you live close to any bars or clubs, consider walking to those to avoid getting behind the wheel altogether. Or plan on spending the night with a friend or family member if you are drinking at their house.
- Know your limit: Make sure you pay attention to your body and know your drinking limit. Little things such as new medications or not eating enough that day can change your alcohol intake levels as well.
- Stay home: Consider hosting your family and friends at your place. Encourage anyone that is in attendance to avoid drinking or have them spend the night or use a rideshare service if they do.
- Don’t ‘Sleep It Off’: If you do go out and have been drinking, it’s best to stay out of the car. In Florida, you can still be charged with DUI even if you’re ‘sleeping it off’ and not presently driving. Law enforcement still sees the potential to operate the vehicle drunk, and they will arrest you.
Learn More > How to Challenge a Florida DUI
Drinking and Driving at Thanksgiving
If you have been charged with a DUI offense, especially at Thanksgiving, you need to make sure to contact the experienced attorneys at Stechschulte Nell Law.
A drunk driving conviction stays on your permanent record for a long time, and you only have 10 days to reinstate your license. That is why you must contact us immediately at (813) 280-1244 to set up a free consultation so we can discuss your case and options further.