New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest holiday celebrations of the year. With all the fun comes plenty of risks, however, and two main areas of concern are drinking and driving, and fireworks. Related incidents and injuries occur every year, often with tragic results, because people fail to take basic precautions when celebrating. This can also land you on the wrong side of the law and make you vulnerable to civil penalties. 

Put simply, do not drink and drive. A person is guilty of DUI if he or she is in physical control of a vehicle and influenced by alcohol or controlled substances to the extent that his or her normal driving abilities are impaired. This means only a few drinks can lead to a whole range of legal problems, or worse. It is not worth it.

Law enforcement agencies are also cognizant of New Year’s party-goers who may be putting others at risk by drinking and getting behind the wheel. DUI checkpoints are commonplace protections. If you are stopped at a checkpoint, be prepared to provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and engage in conversation. Do not make any sudden or aggressive movements or unnecessarily antagonize a police officer. It is within your rights to refrain from a roadside sobriety test, but stiff penalties may ensue, including an automatic license suspension. 

Remember these three tips to protect you when you are celebrating:

  • Do not drink if you are driving
  • Use a ride-share service or taxi if necessary
  • Never get into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver

When it comes to fireworks, it is best to leave them to the professionals. If you are planning on celebrating New Year’s with your own fireworks, however, it is critical to abstain from alcohol and other substances that impair judgement. Next, find a safe place to light them. Only use fireworks outside and away from buildings, and place them on flat, fireproof surfaces that are free from flammable debris. Keep a garden hose or bucket of water nearby to make sure expended fireworks are fully extinguished, and never use fireworks outside their recommended usage. Buy them at licensed stores and tents to make sure they are legal.

We understand that accidents happen and we are here to protect your rights. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a New Year’s accident, do not wait to contact an experienced attorney on our local team to learn more about your rights.