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Virginia police departments prepare for New Year

In an unsurprising move, Virginia police departments -- including those in the Newport News area -- are planning to conduct increased DUI patrols throughout the New Year holiday and weekend. The primary celebratory days -- New Year's Eve and Day -- fall midweek, but police in at least one local jurisdiction plan to increase road presence and checks through the Saturday following the holiday.

According to a police department in Hampton Roads, officers will patrol from around 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. each evening. The patrols will be heavier in areas most likely to include impaired drivers, such as downtown or known party areas. Safety stops across state highways will also take place.

Authorities do recommend some actions for celebrators. Planning ahead of the festivities for a safe ride home reduces the chance that individuals who are drinking will get behind the wheel. Designating a sober driver is a good idea, and police say non-drivers should leave vehicles and keys at home. Individuals who don't have a designated driver should use taxi services or phone a friend for a ride if they suspect they might be at all impaired.

It's important to remember that a single drink can put you over the legal blood alcohol limit, especially if you drive within an hour after imbibing. If you do get behind the wheel with an above-legal BAC and are caught up in a DUI stop during the holidays, you aren't without legal recourse. Understanding your legal options and how to mount the best defense possible can help ensure that a single holiday mistake doesn't become a lifetime issue.

Source: WAVY, "Local police departments to issue additional patrols on NYE" Dec. 31, 2014

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