Drinking and Driving: Holiday DUIs

If you aren't bundling up by the fire during the winter in Milwaukee, you probably are new to the area. With temperatures averaging at zero degrees Celsius or below, people tend to stay inside for the holidays. To further fight the frost, eggnog, champagne, and other spirits are passed around merrily. Sounds like a good time, right? It is, for the most part, until you consider driving under the influence (DUI) charges coming into the mix.

From Shorewood to the north to Racine to the south, law enforcement officials crackdown each wintry season in an attempt to snag more drunk drivers. The trouble is that their added vigilance and even the weather can lead to holiday DUI citations that never should have existed in the first place.

Why DUI Numbers Go Up During the Holidays

Firstly, people often see what they want to see in everyday situations – almost like an optical illusion – and the police are no exception. If they are expecting more drunk drivers on the road, they are ultimately going to find more. Behavior that might have been passable and safe months ago is now considered dangerous and worthy of a traffic stop.

Secondly, the ice and snow are working against drivers, too. The increased difficulty to maintain control of your vehicle as the roads get frosty can make it seem as if you are more intoxicated than you really are. Think about it from an outside perspective: if you see a car wiggling or skidding after leaving a party, are you really going to think it is roadway conditions that are causing the trouble, or is alcohol to blame?

Lastly, you do not have to actually possess a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level higher than 0.08% – the widely-known legal standard – to be arrested for a DUI, or OWI (operating while intoxicated) as it is sometimes called in Wisconsin. All you need to do is have any alcohol in your system and drive "dangerously." Once again, what is considered dangerous is up to the police to decide, and may be exaggerated by weather conditions.

Everything comes together to equal increased DUI arrests and charges during the holiday season. But if you have been slammed by law enforcement in this way, your fight might be only just beginning. Call 414.375.0797 to get in touch with a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney from The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz and discover how you can challenge your charges and defend your rights. We offer free initial consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don't hesitate to contact us when you need us.