Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day will be here before you know it. These holidays are some of the most commonly celebrated events of the season for many people throughout New York State. The holidays mean traveling to friends, attending parties, going to bars and events and visiting family. The holidays can also mean impaired driving as a result of the merriment. In fact, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s have some of the highest drunk driving accident rates of any days during the year.
As the holidays approach, police will be taking steps to try to address the added risks of drunk driving that occur on days when many people drink to celebrate. Each year, there are increased enforcement efforts from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the weekend, as well as crackdowns around Christmas and on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. These crackdowns usually involve more police on the roads and can even involve drunk driving checkpoints.
While police crack down on motorists, drivers need to know what their rights are. If police stop you without probable cause or ask you to conduct sobriety testing without justification, any evidence they obtain should not be used against you. You need to be prepared for the coming holiday DWI crackdown, take steps to avoid arrest and know your rights if something goes wrong. A Schenectady DWI defense attorney can help, so call as soon as possible after an arrest.
News of holiday DWI crackdowns abounds each year throughout all of New York State. For example, News 10 Albany reported in the past on a “blanket DWI patrol” which began in mid-December and continued through the end of the season.
On just one night during the blanket patrol, a deputy from the Albany County Sheriff's Department indicated he had pulled over 10 vehicles in an hour and a half. He said he was pulling over people for “whatever I see,” including a “headlight out, a taillight out, speeding or going through a stop sign or a red light.” The deputy also warned: “If I have a reason to stop you, I'm going to stop you.”
Patch.com also reported on an annual Thanksgiving holiday crackdown during which law enforcement officers made 114 motor vehicle stops between 12:00 noon and 11:59 PM over the Thanksgiving weekend. Several motorists were arrested for impaired driving during this time period.
These are just a few of many examples of holiday crackdowns. Motorists should be certain they do not provide the police with an excuse for stopping their car, which means obeying all the rules of the road, not having taillights or brake lights out, and having an updated registration sticker on their vehicles.
By carefully complying with the law, you can ensure police will not have a pretext to stop your car. If they do stop you, you should know your rights- including the right to a lawyer.
If you or your family member is arrested during a holiday DWI crackdown, or is arrested at any time, you should contact The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC to find out what options you have for fighting the charges you face.