Weekends and holidays are a time to relax and spend time with friends and family. Unfortunately, the celebration can be short-lived for anyone who winds up arrested and charged with drunk driving.
During weekends and the upcoming holiday season, the likelihood of getting arrested for DUI in California can increase for all drivers. This is because state and local law enforcement agencies frequently launch enforcement campaigns throughout the year to crack down on drunk driving. So, what does this mean for you?
The impact of increased enforcement
The goal of drunk driving campaigns is to stop as many drunk drivers as possible. That said, not every stop is legal, and not every driver is intoxicated. The same rights are still in place for individuals that police stop.
And the aggressive nature of increased enforcement could lead to oversights and missteps on the part of the police, which can be a reason to challenge a DUI charge.
When there are more patrols on the road, and those officers are focused primarily on stopping impaired drivers, any sign that a driver is intoxicated can trigger a stop. You might drift over the lane line or turn without using your signal, for instance. On a regular day, such an oversight may not raise any red flags. But during increased enforcement periods, it could be all it takes for police to stop you.
Further, law enforcement in the state can and do set up DUI checkpoints that allow them to stop motorists without probable cause. These roadblocks must meet specific guidelines, including proper signage. And as a driver, you should know you can turn around when you see the signage.
Protecting yourself after a stop
If you do get arrested as part of these increased enforcement campaigns, it can be crucial to take the charges seriously. You are not just a number that gets reported after the campaign ends: You have rights to protect and a future to think about.
While it may seem like paying a fine and pleading guilty could be the fastest way to deal with DUI charges, understand that doing so could have long-term consequences. Therefore, you can talk to an attorney to examine potential defense strategies and options to minimize the toll a DUI can have on your life.