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Agencies warn about traffic safety during the holidays

Seattle drivers should be particularly careful over the Christmas and New Year's holidays, a time of year when fatalities from car accidents are on the rise. To help combat the problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration runs a yearly campaign against drunk driving called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

The campaign includes a commercial that shows a man after being taken into custody in a police car and a virtual reality web experience at a crash scene. The web experience allows users to interact with EMTs, injured people and others on the scene. There is also a SaferRide app that people can get for Apple or Android devices.

There were 781 deaths in December 2016 in which drunk driving was a factor, and there were around 500 deaths on average between Christmas and New Year's over the last five years. The U.S. Transportation Secretary said people should plan ahead so they have a ride home from holiday celebrations. According to the NHTSA deputy administrator, law enforcement would be on the lookout for drunk drivers during the holiday season.

People who are facing drunk driving charges may face other repercussions in addition to legal problems. For example, some professions could have additional penalties for an employee who has been driving under the influence. There also could be problems for a person in a public position such as politics. However, a person charged with DUI may have several legal options depending on the circumstances. For example, it might be possible to plead guilty to a lesser charge. The main concern of a person with multiple charges might be to avoid a jail sentence. However, even first-time charges might carry serious penalties including fines and license suspension. An attorney could help an alleged offender throughout the legal process.

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