Although the holidays in California lack freezing temperatures and snowfall compared to other states, many state residents still celebrate the same way by exchanging gifts, attending festive events, and being jolly and merry throughout the season. However, California and many other states experience a significant increase in crimes during the holidays.
The following are the four most common types of holiday crimes in California:
- DUI – Alcohol consumption is typically a part of the holiday festivities, which is why there is a rise in DUI arrests and drunk driving accidents every year, starting from Thanksgiving Eve (Black Wednesday) and ending with New Year’s Day. During the holiday season, state police departments will have more officers patrol the roads and more DUI checkpoints set up to arrest suspected drivers and reduce the number of alcohol-related collisions. If you decide to have a few drinks at a holiday event, ensure you avoid getting behind the wheel and find a designated driver, request a ride from an Uber or Lyft driver, or sleepover at a friend’s place or hotel room instead.
- Sex crimes – Alcohol consumption at festive events can also lead to rape, sexual assault, and other sex crimes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use is commonly involved in sex crimes. Women who consume an excessive amount of alcohol put themselves at a greater risk of becoming a victim of a sex crime. Whenever you are at a holiday gathering, limit the amount of alcohol you drink and keep an eye out on inebriated individuals to ensure they are safe.
- Domestic violence – Many people have more contact with family members than at any other time of the year. If there are any unresolved family issues, the holidays tend to exacerbate them, especially if alcohol consumption or drug use is involved. That is why police officers respond to more domestic violence calls during the holidays compared to other seasons. If there are problems between you and your loved ones, it is best to resolve them with the help of a professional.
- Theft crimes – Since stores throughout the state will be hectic and overcrowded with holiday shoppers, shoplifters will attempt to take advantage of distracted workers and security guards. Although many people now do their shopping online, they can still be victims of theft due to the rise in “porch pirates,” who steal packages that are left unattended after delivery. Lastly, because many homeowners and their families take long vacations during the holidays, their homes are left empty for weeks or months at a time, which can attract burglars. If the thought of committing a theft crime crosses your mind, remember your actions could be recorded by mall security cameras, home doorbell cameras, or other security systems.
Don’t let a mistake put a serious damper on the holidays. If you or a loved one is arrested in Santa Rosa, the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. can do our best to help you avoid serious penalties and protect your rights and freedom.
For more information about holiday crimes, contact ustoday at (707) 418-5352.