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Hi Mom, it's me and I'm in jail

Having to make this type of phone call is probably the last thing you want to do while you're home from school for the holidays. While this may be true, you're probably just like hundreds of other college students in North Carolina who are looking forward to hanging out with friends, maybe watching a game, eating some hot wings or having a few cold beers.

It's all good, although you might want to think ahead so the latter does not lead to the former. For starters, did you know there are certain days designated as the most dangerous travel days in the nation?

Top deadly driving days in America

While you and your buddies are planning your holiday schedule, you may want to be aware of the following:

  • More DUI arrests take place between Thanksgiving weekend and New Year's Day than any other time of year.
  • Some studies list July Fourth as the single deadliest day to drive or travel by motor vehicle.
  • Super Bowl Sunday may be a fun day to celebrate with your friends, but it is also known to be a day on which many fatal car accidents that are alcohol-related occur.

Whether you've just arrived home for Christmas, or, you are planning your next summer vacation, keeping this information in mind may help you avoid an accident or DWI.

DWI may affect your family and your college career

If you were pulled over and charged with DWI on a night out with friends at school, chances are law enforcement officers will inform your school administrators of your situation. You might also have to make that phone call home that you've always dreaded.

You might also experience one or more of these adverse effects:

  • Failing grades: Court appearances and appointments connected with your DWI may cost you valuable study time that leads to a drop in your grades.
  • Inability to pay tuition: When faced with costs associated with your DWI incident, you may be unable to fulfill tuition requirements.
  • Embarrassment: You may feel ashamed knowing your parents will be disappointed in you when they learn you're in trouble with the law.

In addition to such consequences, you could be at risk for suspension of your school enrollment, should college officials choose to issue one, until your legal problems have been resolved.

Avoiding conviction and staying out of jail

Obviously, the easiest way for you to avoid DWI conviction is not to consume any alcohol if you plan to drive a car. That said, merely having a drink or two with your friends to celebrate the holidays does not necessarily mean you are breaking the law when you drive.

If an officer pulls you over and claims to smell alcohol or asks you to exit your vehicle, keeping the following in mind may help you secure a positive outcome:

  • Just because a police officer accuses you of DWI does not mean you are guilty.
  • Anything you say or do can later be used to incriminate you in court.
  • Refusing to take a Breathalyzer or other chemical test may unleash an automated process that leads to suspension of your driver's license.
  • Law enforcement agents must legally follow strict protocol regarding field sobriety tests and searches of vehicles or persons.
  • You have the right to speak to an attorney before answering any questions.

If you believe a violation to your personal rights took place, you can seek immediate assistance to confirm your suspicions and challenge evidence proffered by the prosecution in court. In fact, by acting alongside skilled and experienced defense representation, you may eventually be able to call your parents to tell them everything worked out for the best.

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