Tis the season — to be extra careful about holiday legal issues

Posted by Leslie M. Stovall, Esq. | Dec 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

Ah, the holidays. Time for good cheer, love of family and friends, warm memories — and the potential for some nasty legal hassles. The holiday season is here!  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or all three, the holiday spirit fills the air.  It's easy to get caught up in the festivities, and while you're busy decorating the house, safety may be one of the last things on your mind. For others, the holidays are particularly challenging, bringing up difficult emotions or memories, and increased stress. Whether you are full of holiday spirit or struggling through the season, it is helpful to be aware of some of the top legal issues during the holiday season.

Car Accidents

Christmas is the 7th deadliest time of year to drive. During the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, the number of trips people take increases by 23%.  People are generally driving longer and there more people on the roadways during Christmas holidays. In addition to taking longer road trips, alcohol use is a significant reason for the increased in hazardous conditions since  car accidents in Las Vegas and Henderson see an increase in fatality rates during holiday periods. Younger partygoers are particularly at risk: drivers aged 21 to 24 have the highest level of involvement in alcohol-impaired driving over the holidays. Drive carefully while out in the rush and poor weather conditions 

Fires 

Use mini or LED lights as they have cool-burning lights (and LED lights save electricity). Make sure all of the sockets contain a light bulb.  Never remove the ground pin, or file the wide peg of plug as this interferes with the electrical grounding. Never put extension cords through doorways or under carpets and do not overload electrical outlets.

Drunk Driving/DUI

Holiday festivities and celebrations commonly include consumption of adult beverages. While sipping your eggnog or holiday cocktail, we urge you to drink responsibly and choose a designated driver; a fun and festive evening can quickly turn tragic. With the increase in celebrations and parties during the holiday season comes increases in incidents of drunk driving, fatalities and injuries related to drunk driving, and DUI charges.

We urge you to remember that a DUI will not only disrupt your party plans, it can have significant consequences on your future. You could be looking at driver's license suspension, large fines, jail time, and the long term impacts of a criminal record. 

Domestic Violence/Assault

Emotions often run high around the holidays with close proximity to family, escalated emotions, and elevated levels of tension stress, and irritability. Be mindful of your emotions, your behavior, and the potentially life changing consequences of letting a domestic dispute escalate out of control. Such a dispute can quickly result in criminal charges. Volatility is exacerbated when drugs or alcohol are involved and/or in times of significant stress, as is often the case during the holiday season.

Child Custody 

After a divorce or break up, parents who share custody often struggle with sharing their children during the holiday season. While parents may want to spend every last minute of every holiday with their children, it is important to remember that the children likely want to, and will benefit from, seeing both of their parents over the holidays. Finding a way to make that happen may require some creative planning, but it is possible.

Kids First: However you work out the details, one principle should prevail when planning the holidays. Put the children's psychological well-being first.

Deaths of Loved Ones

Several studies show you have a greater chance of dying on Christmas, the day after Christmas or New Year's Day than any other single day of the year. This is true for people who die of natural causes, which account for 93% of all deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

It's also true, researchers say, for people who die of the five most common diseases: circulatory problems, respiratory diseases, endocrine/nutritional/metabolic problems, digestive diseases and cancer. There's a spike in deaths for all age groups on those days with one exception – children.

“We want to make sure we are ready for any phone calls to make sure people are all right in their grief. The holidays definitely are a harder time of year for people when this happens, especially since they are such a time steeped in tradition and family.”

If you know someone who loses a loved one over the holiday, be sure to be extra sensitive to their emotions.

At our office, we are experienced in helping people deal with all types of legal issues. Contact us today for a free consultation at 702-258-3034!

About the Author

Leslie M. Stovall, Esq.

Profile Leslie Mark Stovall, owner and founder of Stovall amp; Associates, has practiced law for over 23 years in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Stovall established his Las Vegas office in 1987 and opened an office in Pahrump, Nevada in November 2008. His clients include individuals, corporations, partn...

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