The holiday season is one of the happiest and festive times of the year in Maryland and around the country. However, the added festivities frequently give rise to increased alcohol consumption. Many people who partake of alcohol during the holidays more than at other times of the year may not be aware of their own alcohol tolerance, or lack of it. That can make them susceptible to an arrest for driving under the influence.

In an effort to stem this problem and make area roads safer, Montgomery County Police have initiated a holiday task force that will be in place through Jan. 5. The aim of the task force is to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads during the holiday season. They will make use of such tools as sobriety check points, issuing tickets to parents and other adults who host underage drinking parties and increasing compliance checks on establishments that sell alcohol.

This is a laudatory effort. In their attempt to safeguard the public and enforce the laws, the task force may cite first time offenders and possibly experience testing errors that go unnoticed at the time. A charge for DUI can have serious ramifications. These can include a temporary loss of a license, significant fines and even jail time.

Being charged with driving under the influence can be very scary, particularly for a first time offender. Anyone in Maryland in such a situation may not be aware of his or her legal rights. A conversation with an experienced attorney can ensure that one is fully informed of one’s rights and has access to legal counsel in dealing with all aspects of the criminal proceedings.