DUI holiday crackdown enforced

The holiday season brings family and friends together. However, celebrations can quickly turn into tragedy. Holidays mean more drivers on the road and, unfortunately, more drivers operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average drunk driver has driven under the influence 80 times before a first arrest. About one-third of all crash-related fatalities have been attributed to alcohol. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that alcohol was a factor in 38.5 percent of crash fatalities.

Santa Clara County checkpoints and patrols have been in effect since December 12 and will remain in effect through January 1, 2015. Officers are on high alert to look for signs of impaired driving. They are also conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.

Despite these measures you should take extra care to avoid the path of impaired drivers and possible injury. The following safety tips can help you enjoy a safe holiday season:

  • If you suspect someone is driving under the influence call 911 immediately. Be sure to note the vehicle’s make, model, and color, as well as the vehicle’s location and direction. Pull over to make this call or have someone else in your vehicle do it. Also increase the distance between you vehicle and the one driven by the impaired driver.
  • If you plan to be out celebrating, select a responsible person to drive who will remain sober. If someone else is driving, leave your car keys at home. If a family member of friend has been drinking, do not let that individual get behind the wheel.
  • Make sure everyone wears a seat belt.
  • Give full attention to the road. Distracted driving can easily lead to an accident. Traffic patterns and volume can change without much notice.
  • Obey posted speed limits. Even if you are late for a party, it will still be there when you arrive.
  • Drive defensively and don’t respond to aggressive drivers. When you see erratic driving behavior, call 911, and move out of the way.
  • Don’t drive when tired. Driving during the holidays can be frustrating and stressful. Without your full faculties, you may be unable to respond appropriately.
  • If you are involved in a car crash, call for help immediately. Take photos of the damage. Note the road and weather conditions. Get insurance and contact information from the other driver. If there are witnesses, gather their contact information, too. Seek immediate medical help.

Bohn & Fletcher, LLP is a personal injury law firm serving the residents of Santa Clara County. If you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI-related car crash, please contact us to hear about your options for full and fair compensation