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New Year’s Wishes – and Cautions – From Collins, McDonald & Gann

As we move into the final days of 2011, it’s the perfect opportunity for us all to not only reflect back on the past year, but to look towards the future.  While 2011 has certainly had its ups and downs for everyone and has been marked by tough economic times for many people, we’re hopeful that 2012 will be a great year for all – and we wish everyone a happy New Year and a fantastic year ahead.

In a few days, the year-end retrospectives that have become a tradition at this time of the year will give way to the biggest end-of-year tradition: New Year’s Eve celebrations.  Of course, everyone wants to enjoy this big night out and ring in the New Year with friends and family – but, as we all know, in addition to being a night known for fun and laughs, New Year’s Eve is also known for being one of the busiest nights for DWI/DUI offenses … and arrests.

Unfortunately, it’s not only adults that are at heightened risk for driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired on New Year’s Eve – but, according to new data, more and more teens are engaging in potentially risky behavior on this night, as well.  According to a nationwide survey of nearly 2,300 teens in 11th and 12th grades just released this week from Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), teenagers consider driving on New Year’s Eve more dangerous than driving on prom night, homecoming or the Fourth of July – yet a greater percentage of teens say that they have driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs on New Year’s Eve than they have on any other holiday/event.  With 10% of  teens surveyed revealing that they had driven under the influence on New Year’s Eve, it’s apparent that DWI/DUI offenses can happen to anyone – and parents need to make sure to speak with their teens about the dangers of driving under the influence well before their kids head out the door on December 31st. (For more information and survey results: https://www.sacbee.com/2011/12/27/4147227/liberty-mutualsadd-study-reveals.html )

So as you get ready to enjoy your celebration this year, just be advised (and make sure your teenagers know as well) that police throughout the country – including those on Long Island — will be setting up checkpoints on many roads to establish sobriety.  Make sure everyone understands that, as the public service announcements currently being aired state, “Buzzed driving is drunk driving” – on New Year’s Eve as well as every other night of the year.  And always remember that if, for any reason, you or a family member are charged with a DWI/DUI offense, make sure to seek the immediate counsel of an attorney experienced in this area to help you navigate the system and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.  You can reach us at 516-294-0300 if you have any questions or need help.

Again, all the best for a happy – and safe – New Year’s Eve and a great 2012!

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