New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are among the most dangerous times of the year to be on the roads in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metro areas. While the occasion is marked by joyous festivities and celebrations amongst friends and loved ones, many people, unfortunately, also choose to mark the occasion by consuming alcohol in large quantities. Couple that with the time of night at which the calendar changes and you have a dangerous mix of inebriated and fatigued drivers in the hours following the ball drop in Times Square. And despite law enforcement’s best efforts to keep these kinds of drivers off the roads, Maryland personal injury and DUI lawyers always tend to see an uptick in new clients in the weeks following the New Year.
On the personal injury front, people are more likely to encounter a severely impaired driver around the New Year’s holiday who has been binge drinking and/or maybe using other drugs as well. These impairments dull the senses, slow reaction times, and make it more difficult to process the types of simple decisions one has to make every time he or she is behind the wheel of an automobile. It is these impairments that result in the greater prevalence in personal injury claims this time of year.
Your best bet during this time of year is to stay off the roads as much as possible. However, if you are unable to refrain from being on the roads and if you are the victim of one of these impair drivers, it is important to contact a Maryland personal injury attorney as soon as you’ve received adequate medical attention. Your attorney will help ensure that you are properly compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
We’d like to extend a similar caution to regular law-abiding citizens during these festivities. It is quite common for upstanding people to attend a New Year’s party and consume one-too-many alcoholic beverages. Perhaps there was a midnight champagne toast to salute the calendar change. Perhaps you leave that party feeling awake, alert, and uninhibited by the little bit of alcohol you’ve consumed over the course of the night. It may be that champagne toast that can dramatically impact your life.
Law enforcement officers are trained to spot the slightest hint of impairment on the roads. Perhaps the officer didn’t like one of the times you swerved within your lane. All of a sudden, you’ve been pulled over and asked to submit to a Breath-a-lyzer test. You blow a .08, the exact threshold of legal impairment in Maryland. In what seems like the blink of an eye, you may be facing steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
That’s where an experienced Maryland DUI attorney can help. Thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens are hit with DUI charges every year, and many of them posed no threat to themselves or others while on the road. A good attorney can present your clean record and your side of the story in a way that might convince the judge to reduce your criminal penalties or even expunge your records.
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