One of the biggest party nights of the year is approaching. Many people like to ring in the New Year with copious amounts of champagne and cocktails. Unfortunately, too many people still don’t plan ahead, and they get behind the wheel after drinking too much.

The Virginia State Police recently announced that they would be participating in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program during the holiday season. As part of the program, police will be stepping up enforcement of drunk driving laws. That means more police on the roads, and state police officers will be joining with local and county police forces at DUI checkpoints across the state.

Serious Penalties Are At Stake For A DUI Arrest

You can be sure that New Year’s Eve will be one of the nights where police are out in force looking for drunk drivers. The state police announced that they arrested 137 alleged drunk drivers during the Thanksgiving weekend.

No matter when a DUI arrest happens, there are serious penalties at stake here in Virginia. If your blood alcohol content was .15 or higher, you will spend a minimum of five days in jail. No matter your BAC, a conviction will mean a license suspension of a year. You will also have to use an ignition interlock device for at least six months. That can be a steep price to pay for a mistake.

Plan Ahead For Your Festivities

The state police and others remind New Year’s revelers that the easiest way to avoid a DUI charge is to not get behind the wheel after you have been drinking. Feel free to party hard, but if you do, plan ahead. Stay at a friend’s house, use a designated driver, call a taxi or hail an Uber or Lyft.

If police stop you on suspicion of drunk driving, remember that you have rights. Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. Early intervention by an attorney is key.