Happy New Year’s Eve! Goodbye 2019, hello 2020! Tonight is one of our busiest night’s of the year. Not only are we celebrating the start of a new year, but we find that Durham, North Carolina has a tendency to amp up the need for an attorney. If one of those legal needs is you, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (919) 672-8330.
New Year’s Eve and the wee hours of New Year’s Day are some of the busiest times for legal assistance at our firm for a variety of reasons. For one, many people enjoy welcoming in the new year with celebratory drinks, but not everyone makes the wisest decisions at the end of the night. Secondly, the police department tends to put all hands on deck to provide traffic reinforcement, so you may see additional cops on the roads. In fact, Durham police have already announced that they’ll be looking for four fatal driving maneuvers this holiday, including:
1. New Year’s Eve Drunk Driving
If you plan to drink tonight, please allow yourself some time to sober up, bring a designated driver or call a ride to get you home safely. There are plenty of buses, taxis, Ubers and Lyfts throughout the Durham area, so there should be no excuse for getting home safely. One drink within 90 minutes can leave some people legally impaired (i.e., registering a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or higher).
If you choose to drive yourself home, remember that police checkpoints, visible and hidden, will be all over the road; thus increasing the chances for you to be arrested. This police presence is necessary and appropriate to assure everyone’s safety, but even if you manage not to get caught by the police, it’s really dangerous to drive any motor vehicle after having had more than one drink during a 90 minute period. No “buzz” is worth the risk.
2. New Year’s Eve Distracted Driving
In addition to drunk driving, police will also be looking for distracted drivers. Distracted driving is any kind of driving that takes your eyes of the road, hands off the wheel or mind off the task of driving. New Year’s Eve provides the perfect recipe for all of those situations to occur, especially if you find yourself watching your phone for details on the next party or trying to calm any drunk passengers in the back seat. Distracted driving is an impairment that is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
3. New Year’s Eve Speeding
New Year’s Eve is not necessarily the most unsafe day of the year to drive. In fact, it’s the 5th unsafest day (with Thanksgiving being the unsafest day), but drunk or distracted driving paired with speeding can be a recipe for disaster. Police will be posted all over the city looking for easy targets. Don’t make their job any easier by speeding.
4. New Year’s Eve Seat Belts
Finally, if you’re caught in a traffic stop, police will be making sure that all drivers and passengers are following the law by wearing their seat belts. North Carolina law requires all people in a car (including the back seat!) to be properly buckled up. It’s the law! Be fairly warned, waiting until you see a cop on the side of the road to buckle up is not going to cut it. Cops will be posted around the city noting infractions and then signaling to another officer down the road to pull cars over. Your safest bet is for everyone in your vehicle to wear their seat belt at all times.
While we always encourage you to make safe decisions behind the wheel, we particularly stress safe driving tonight. Beyond being a danger to yourself and others, you’re much more likely to get arrested on New Year’s Eve than any other night of the year. For more information, or to set up a free case evaluation, give us a call and ask for Kevin E. Jones at (919) 672-8330. Happy New Year!