The days have turned colder, shorter and darker – sure signs that the holiday season is right around the corner. That means it is time for gatherings with family and friends to celebrate this special time.

Unfortunately, it also means police agencies ramp up drunk driving enforcement efforts, which in turn leads to a surge in DWI/DUI arrests. A recent report by WXII-TV states that “Greensboro ranks No. 1 for highest rate of drivers with DUI in country.”

While many of our blog readers might find that claim surprising, it is based on research by a personal finance website that ranked the top 25 drunk driving arrest rate cities in the nation.

Greensboro is at the top of the national list, followed by:

  • 2. Boston
  • 3. Columbus, OH
  • 4. Columbia, SC
  • 5. Boise
  • 6. Denver
  • 7. San Diego
  • 8. Richmond
  • 9. Charlotte
  • 10. Virginia Beach

Others on the list include Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Memphis, Bakersfield and Fresno.

While trivia of this sort can be interesting, far more important are the possible penalties you can face following a drunk driving arrest.

For a Level V arrest (the least serious in state law), punishments for a conviction can include jail time that ranges from a minimum of 24 hours to a maximum of 60 days. Your fine can be up to $200.

You should also discuss with your attorney the possibility of a suspended sentence, which can include community service.

The most serious DWI/DUI offense is a Level I, which can include jail time ranging from 30 days to a maximum of two years behind bars. It should be noted that a judge cannot suspend the minimum sentence at this level.