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Many people like to grumble about the Christmas season. It’s too hectic, too commercial, too long and too much of this and too much of that. But most of us concede that the holiday season gives us opportunities to get together with family and friends to share food, laughs and companionship.

Let’s not romanticize the dangers of the season, however: because of the heavier holiday traffic, there are increased risks of car accidents. And because of greater scrutiny of drivers by the Memphis Police Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, there is an increased risk of being arrested for driving under the influence.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 40 percent of traffic-related fatalities during the holiday season involve drunken drivers, while just 28 percent of those fatalities are attributable to DUI drivers for the rest of the year.

The potential for a DUI arrest soars at this time of year: record numbers of drivers will take to the roads across the country (more than 100 million) between December 23 and January 3.

According to automobile service AAA, about one out of every eight drivers who consume alcohol say they have driven after they have consumed alcohol or when they have been close to (or exceeded) the permissible limit.

Those who are at highest risk of driving drunk and being arrested for DUI: those who say they drink more during the holiday period.

If you plan on sharing drinks over the holidays, consider designating a sober driver for the ride home. You can also take a taxi to get to where you need to go or use a ride-share service.

For those who face a DUI charge, know that your chances of justice are increased when you enlist the aid of an attorney experienced in negotiating with prosecutors and investigating police claims.