November and December host holidays that encourage everyone to spend time with their families. While these months can be filled with incomparable joy, they can also be a source of stress. It’s in the face of that stress that some people like to celebrate shortly before Thanksgiving, on a day known as “Drinksgiving” or Blackout Wednesday.
Unfortunately, the Drinksgiving tradition of getting blackout drunk can pose threats to your well-being and legal standing. With Black Wednesday DUI car accidents trending upward every year, it’s in everyone’s best interest to stay as safe as possible ahead of the holidays.
If you were accused of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, please reach out to a criminal defense attorney for legal guidance today.
Drinksgiving: A Newer Tradition
In 2007, the United States recorded the year’s biggest night of drinking on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
In the nearly two decades since those numbers came to light, Drinksgiving has grown in popularity. People of all ages take the day before Thanksgiving to meet up with friends and often have too many drinks.
This prelude to Thanksgiving poses a threat to more than your health. If, after going to a bar, you need to find your way home, you can often put yourself, your friends, and those around you in danger by getting behind the wheel. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Black Wednesday’s DUIs continue to trend upward every year.
Accidents stemming from intoxicated driving throughout Texas can also leave you with lifelong emotional scars.
If you were caught intoxicated behind the wheel, you may also face criminal consequences for your misconduct. Those consequences can have life-changing effects on your ability to meet your daily needs or maintain your financial health.
Criminal Consequences of DUIs
Texas Penal Code §10.49.01 notes that state residents become legally intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration reaches or exceeds 0.08%. The severity of the criminal consequences you may face if accused of a DUI varies depending on several factors, including the number of times Texas courts have convicted you of DUIs in the past.
Texas’s criminal consequences for DUIs break down as follows:
- First DUI: Fines of up to $2,000 and at least three mandatory days in jail, along with the loss of your license for up to a year
- Second DUI: One month in jail upon a conviction alongside up to $4,000 in fines and the loss of your driver’s license for up to two years
- Third DUI: Up to 10 years in prison, loss of your driver’s license for two years, and fines of up to $10,000
The consequences applied to these charges may vary depending on the severity of any accidents you find yourself in. Your level of intoxication may also impact your criminal charges.
How To Drink and Stay Safe on Drinksgiving
It is possible to drink and stay safe on Drinksgiving. If you are interested in going out on the town, make a plan with friends or rideshare drivers to navigate home at the end of the night safely.
Similarly, you can go out to drink without getting drunk. Pacing yourself and alternating alcohol with water helps you maintain your faculties while still having fun.
It’s equally important to keep an eye out for your friends and loved ones; if you see someone trying to get behind the wheel while visibly intoxicated, step in to prevent an accident.
When in doubt, the safest thing to do on Drinksgiving is not to drink. If you are looking to reconnect with old friends, look for alternative means to decompress before the big day.
When To Reach Out for Legal Assistance
Should you find yourself accused of a DUI after Drinksgiving, know that you don’t have to address those charges alone. Texas criminal defense attorneys can break down the charges brought against you and help you challenge them in criminal court.
Connect with a Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after receiving DUI charges. The sooner you have an attorney on the scene, the easier it may be for you to protect your rights.
Don’t Let Drinksgiving Bowl You Over
It’s tempting to get together with friends and drink a little more than usual before seeing your family for Thanksgiving. One night of drinking can, in some cases, see certain parties face life-changing criminal charges, impossible fines, and considerably reduced freedoms.
It’s essential to recognize the dangers that Blackout Wednesday can present. It’s with the risks to personal and community safety in mind that you and your loved ones can take steps to stay safe. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges after Drinksgiving, contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss your legal options.