DWIs during the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time of the year – a time when people get together with family, exchange presents, enjoy good food, and… yes… drink.

Unfortunately that drinking can get you into trouble, and this year – 2011 – is going to be a really lousy time to get a DWI in North Carolina.

That’s because the legislature passed and Governor Bev Perdue signed into law some changes to North Carolina’s DWI laws that are set to go into effect on December 1, 2011. These changes – Laura’s Law – increase the costs of all DWIs by at least $100, enhance the punishments for certain kind of DWIs (involving passengers under the age of 18), and create a new punishment level for people convicted of multiple DWIs.

Another reason why the holidays are the worst time to get into a car after drinking is because enforcement generally is enhanced during the holidays. That’s because the Governor’s Highway Safety Program encourages increased enforcement through grants and through its Booze It & Loose It program.

North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced that over Halloween weekend the Booze It & Loose It program netted 758 arrests statewide.

So enjoy the holidays, but be careful about drinking and the driving. If you’re not, you may well end up with a DWI charge which is an ordeal you’d be happier to avoid.

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Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.