Summer tends to be a great time to take vacation and to travel. Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day also bring opportunities for long weekends and holiday parties. For most of us in Jefferson and Berkeley Counties, celebrations often include alcohol.
In the lead-up to Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July, law enforcement agencies across West Virginia ramped up drunk driving patrols and DUI enforcement. It should come as no surprise, then, that a period of extra enforcement is already in effect leading up to Labor Day weekend.
This year, Labor Day will fall on Monday, September 1. But because August is a popular time for Americans to take road trips, extra DUI enforcement has already begun. Between August 13 and Labor Day, agencies in West Virginia and surrounding states will participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 10,000 people each year are killed in alcohol-related crashes on U.S. roads. That breaks down to about one death every 51 minutes during non-holiday periods. During holidays, the death toll increases to one every 34 minutes.
For the remainder of the summer, West Virginians face increased physical and legal dangers while driving. As such, there are some things you can do to keep yourself safe and avoid DUI charges.
You should plan alternative transportation whenever you will be drinking. It’s always better to take a cab or line up a designated driver than to risk getting a DUI or worse. Planning a ride before the festivities begin will increase your chances of making a good decision at the end of the night.
That being said, increased DUI enforcement means more aggressive law enforcement and more opportunities for law enforcement mistakes. If you are charged with DUI during the “Drive Sober” campaign, don’t assume that the case against you is too strong to fight. Please seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Source: The Independent, "Police cracking down on impaired drivers through Labor Day," Julie Hambrick, Aug. 13, 2014