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The top 5 crimes that increase around the holiday season

If the constant barrage of Christmas music has not informed you, the holiday season is just around the corner. For most people, this time of year is associated with gift-giving, family and celebrations. Hardly anyone associates the season with crime. But a little-known fact is that crime rates tend to spike during Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's Day. In this post, we'll go over five of the most common crimes that go up during the holidays.

1. Drinking and driving

Many people's holidays include a few stiff beverages. Sometimes, this can escalate into driving under the influence of alcohol. DUI's are known to increase dramatically during the holidays--no doubt from all the spiked eggnog. You can help keep the rate of holiday DUI's down by limiting your alcohol consumption and calling a sober ride.

2. Shoplifting

Christmastime is notorious for its focus on gift-giving. Who wouldn't want to give their friends and loved ones the best gifts imaginable? But some people go too far and shoplift toys, jewelry, electronics and other goods from local stores. It is unfortunate that not everyone can afford to purchase nice gifts, but spending Christmas empty-handed is better than being caught shoplifting red-handed.

5. Domestic violence

It is sad but true that not all holiday gatherings are happy. Many domestic violence organizations report an increase in the rate of domestic abuse over the holiday season. Two contributing factors may be the prevalence of alcohol and an increase in family stress. If you are faced with domestic violence charges, you may wish to contact an attorney.

3. Auto theft

New Year's Day is one of the top days nationwide for drinking and driving. It is also one of the top days for auto theft. A lot of New Year's revelers decide to leave their cars behind at the bar and catch a sober ride if they've been drinking. Don't be tempted to hop in and take a stranger's car for a joy ride-- the police will find it much less joyful than you do.

4. Vandalism

Sure, there are plenty of irritating holiday decorations out there, from flashing lights to singing Santas. Some people take matters into their own hands and trespass onto private property to wreak havoc on particularly obnoxious decorations. Before heading over to your neighbor's place with some eggs and toilet paper, consider whether you would rather deal with some annoying yard decor or a vandalism charge.

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