The holiday season is a time for food, friends, family and fun. Many Americans enjoy celebrating togetherness with some festive beverages—alcoholic beverages.

There may be Christmas parties, family gatherings and New Year’s celebrations where it seems appropriate to have a few drinks. Drink responsibly, too much alcohol consumption can have adverse effects.

Although you may not consider yourself to be an excessive drinker, alcohol consumption across the U.S.  increases significantly between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Thus, it may be helpful to understand the risks.

What are the risks of alcohol consumption?

Excessive drinking, or binge drinking, can have adverse effects on your decision-making process. You may be at risk of making bad decisions when your cognitive process is impaired.

In fact, it is possible that you could participate in illegal activity when you are inebriated. Potential criminal activity stemming from alcohol consumption may include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Physical altercations/assault charges
  • Property destruction
  • Disorderly conduct or public-order offenses

Of course, alcohol consumption is not always a factor in criminal activity, but it can be.

In some situations, people who do not want to break the law or cause harm unintentionally do so because of their lowered inhibitions and impaired judgment stemming from excessive alcohol consumption.

Understanding the effects of alcohol

Unfortunately, some people are at risk of excessive alcohol consumption because they do not understand the impact alcohol can have.

For example, a person may be unable to operate a vehicle before showing any signs of intoxication. Similarly, the effects of alcohol continue long after the beverages are gone.

If you underestimate the impact alcohol consumption might have on you, you may find yourself in a tough legal situation. Know your rights; understand that having a legal advocate on your side could lessen the repercussions of a criminal charge.