With a later-than-usual Thanksgiving this year, the holiday season is already in full swing. Black Friday is already behind us, as is Cyber Monday.

But many holiday parties still lie ahead. Law enforcement agencies are of course well aware that alcohol consumption occurs at many of these parties. And so some agencies across Arizona are making plans for additional patrols or DUI checkpoints to respond to a possible uptick in impaired driving.

As we discussed in our article on drunk driving patrols, some areas will have stepped-up patrols every weekend from now until the New Year.

Keep in mind, however, that there are many steps you can take now to avoid problems with the police later. A holiday game plan for prudent partying doesn’t have to mean abstaining from alcohol entirely.

If you are planning to drink socially away from home, be aware of the importance of planning in advance for a safe ride home. As we discussed in our article, there are numerous ways to approach this, such as enlisting a designated driver or taking a cab.

It is also possible to monitor your own blood-alcohol content (BAC) with a simple test. One thing that many people may not realize is that the police do not have a monopoly on Breathalyzer devices. Such devices are commercially available and are not that expensive.

Someone who has purchased a Breathalyzer device has the ability to perform his or her own breath test to measure BAC. And the holidays, as we’ve discussed, are an especially good time to have that ability.