What to do if You Get a DUI on New Years Eve

Updated on 11/19/2021 / Under

While drunk driving accidents normally make up 35% of traffic fatalities on any given day, 62% of car accident deaths on New Year's Eve are because of DUI's, almost doubling the annual average. This makes New Year's Eve night and the early hours of New Year's day the most dangerous time to be on the roads for anyone during the holiday season. While these numbers have been lowering in recent years, in almost every city or town, in every state, law enforcement agencies still set up DUI checkpoints on New Year's Eve to try and stop drunk drivers before they kill others, or themselves.

Deadly crashes and alcohol impairment go hand-in-hand. It is important that you do everything else possible before ever getting behind a wheel while intoxicated. If you find yourself getting arrested for a DUI on New Years Eve, call Naperville DUI at (630) 425-0250

Why is New Years Eve so Dangerous for DUI?

Whether it's the holiday spirit and excitement for the New Year, or people getting in one last night out before their "get healthy" New Years Resolutions, midnight to 6 am on New Year's day is the most dangerous time to be on the road. Not only are people more likely to commit DUI on this day, accounting for more DUI arrests than any other day of the year, but impaired drivers also tend to have a much higher blood alcohol concentration on New Years than any other day or holiday of the year. Arrests peak in the hours following midnight but do continue to happen into the late morning hours of New Years Day. 

While the legal limit to drive is .08 BAC (blood alcohol content), over 70% of DUI arrests on New Year's have a BAC over .15. That's the average equivalent of around 3-4 drinks to 7-8 drinks or the difference between being drunk, and blacking out. 

At just .05 BAC, which is still under the legal limit, your depth perception begins to lessen, and at the legal limit of .08 BAC you will have problems focusing your vision, your depth perception will be almost non-existent, and your reaction times are severely delayed. At .15 BAC, however, your reaction time is so far behind the reality that it practically does not exist, and you most likely will not remember anything at all. Most drunk driving deaths that happen on New Years are caused by persons will BAC's around .15. 

DUI Checkpoints 

If you are planning on driving on New Years Eve, do not do so under the influence of alcohol. Either do not drink at all or wait until the alcohol has dissipated from your blood and you are fully sober before getting behind the wheel. Whether you are in the city or the suburbs, it is likely you will come across a DUI checkpoint on your way home. While you can elect to turn down a side street and try to avoid the checkpoint, be aware that law enforcement officers watch for this kind of behavior and often follow and pull over drivers that try to avoid DUI checkpoints. 

What to do if You Get a DUI on New Years Eve

At the checkpoint, you will be asked for your license, registration, and proof of insurance, as well as asked if you have consumed any alcohol or have any alcohol in the car. Be aware that you are not required to answer any questions other than giving the requesting officer your basic information and paperwork. If the officer asks you to perform a breathalyzer test or perform field sobriety testing, you can choose to submit or refuse. If you submit and fail, you will be arrested for a DUI immediately. If you refuse, you will also be arrested for a DUI immediately and will be required to submit to chemical testing after you are booked. 

If you are arrested for a DUI, either at a DUI Checkpoint or anywhere else on the road, contact Naperville DUI Attorneys as soon as you are able, and try to remember as many details about your arrest as possible to pass on to your attorney, including the location and time, the arresting officer's information, any possible witnesses or cameras that may have seen your arrest. All of this information may help lessen your charges or have them dropped entirely. 

Learn More: What Happens if You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test in Illinois?

What Happens if You Are Intoxicated and Cause an Accident?

If you have been drinking, and have been involved in an accident that has caused injury to a pedestrian or another driver, you will be automatically facing jail time and a long revocation of your driving privileges. You will most likely be fully personally responsible for all medical bills for those you have injured, as well as other forms of pain and suffering and/or monetary retribution.

If you have a BAC over the legal limit and seriously injure another person during a car accident, you will be facing extremely felony DUI charges and over a decade in jail. This is why it is imperative that you do not drive if you have been drinking, especially on holidays like New Years where you have most likely consumed more alcohol than normal. 

Tips to Avoid a DUI on New Years Eve

If you don't have a sober driver to take you home, Chicago thankfully does offer other options for alternative transportation. Thanks to success from years past, Chicago offers "Penny Rides" on their public transportation buses and trains for New Year's Eve, helping impaired citizens make it home for just one cent per ride. There are also other sober ride options, like the AAA program to help members get home safely. Ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, normally also offer discounted or free rides to make sure their users get home safely to end out the New Year. 

Naperville DUI 

If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident or have been arrested for a DUI in the Chicago or Naperville area, call Naperville DUI Lawyers immediately for a free consultation. As an award-winning firm, Naperville DUI has more than their fair share of experience in DUI law and courts, and are here to help you no matter the situation