Memorial Day Weekend and DUIs
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who died while serving this country. Yet, this somber occasion also marks for many people the unofficial beginning of summer, and so trips to the beach, pool parties, backyard barbeques, and consumption of alcohol are common during the extended weekend.
There is a group of people, however, that does not take the weekend off, and this year, that group was as busy with their work as they have been in awhile. From the California Highway Patrol to local sheriff’s departments, law enforcement officers were vigilant in watching out for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Throughout the state, DUI checkpoints were set up on busy roads, and officers were operating under a “maximum enforcement” mandate that lasted through the holiday. During that time, the CHP alone arrested nearly 750 persons on suspicion of DUI.
Tragically, the state’s highway enforcement agency also reported 18 deaths related to drivers under the influence. In more than half of those fatalities, the person killed was not wearing a seatbelt.
Peak Enforcement During Holidays
When it comes to DUI enforcement, Memorial Day weekend is no different than other holidays. State and local police departments generally deploy officers on extra shifts to increase coverage on the streets and freeways. That means if you drive under the influence of any substance – whether it is alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs – you have an increased chance of being pulled over and potentially arrested on suspicion of DUI. Worse yet, there is a higher chance of being involved in a serious collision where you, your friends and family, or an unsuspecting innocent motorist or pedestrian could be injured or killed.
The police encourage responsible behavior if you are going to partake in drugs or alcohol, suggesting using taxi services or ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft to decrease the chances of being involved in a DUI-related incident. If no ride is available, consider allowing your guests that have had too much to drink to stay at your home or with a friend so they do not drive while intoxicated.
Know Your Rights If You Are Stopped
If you do happen to be pulled over or stopped at a DUI checkpoint, remember you have rights. You cannot be forced to answer questions, and you do not have to participate in any field sobriety tests. If you have not been arrested, you do not need to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test.
You do not have to speak at all, but you should remain courteous at all times. Simply tell the officer, “No, thank you.” Always remain polite and courteous, but speak as little as possible. If asked to provide identification, registration and proof of insurance, do not refuse, but you do not need to say anything as you hand it over.
There is no guarantee that the officer will not try to arrest you if you refuse to do a field sobriety test or have you submit a breathalyzer sample. However, the case against you will likely not be as strong if they are unable to point to the results of these test, and your attorney can help fight against a possible unlawful arrest.
Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Right Away
If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, you have no time to waste in hiring an experienced defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 35 years of experience at successfully defending our clients who were facing DUI charges that started with a simple traffic stop. We know how to raise challenges to the officer’s conduct during your arrest, and we have decades of experience in challenging flimsy evidence leading to unlawful arrests. Let us help you, too. Contact us today for a free, no obligation phone consultation.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you, no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.