ElfA man dressed up as an "Elf on the Shelf" has been arrested in New Jersey on charges of drunk driving. The arrest occurred last Friday evening when authorities allege they discovered the man passed out in the driver's seat of his vehicle. Allegedly, the lights of the car were on, the engine was running and the music was on full blast.

Police Had to Wake Up the Costumed Man

The 23-year-old "Elf on the Shelf" costume wearer was awakened by a police sergeant who claims that -- in addition to wearing the humorous costume -- the man's breath smelled of alcohol. Police say that the driver had an open container of alcohol in his vehicle and was confused with regard to his whereabouts.

Police say that they proceeded to perform various field sobriety tests on the man, which he allegedly failed. He was ultimately arrested and booked at police headquarters. He was charged with careless driving, driving while intoxicated and open container violations. He is scheduled for a court date on January 6.

Stay Safe This Holiday Season

Christmas season is a time of good cheer and festive parties. However, it is important for all drivers to remember that it is illegal to drive while intoxicated after a holiday party. It is therefore preferable to take a taxi home, get a ride with a friend or simply sleep over at a friend's house once the party is through. Police increase their patrols during the Christmas season and other holidays in their efforts to keep the roads safe; therefore, inebriated drivers have a better chance of getting pulled over and accused of a drunk driving offense compared to other times of the year.

That said, it is important to remember that if you are pulled over and accused of DUI this Christmas, the charges will not necessarily result in conviction. Every individual has the right to defend against criminal charges, large or small, in a court of law. Those who are able to successfully navigate their criminal defenses may be able to escape conviction and punishment. Even the man who was wearing the "Elf on the Shelf" costume in this case may be able to benefit from the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney.