West Virginia DUI enforcement increases over holiday weekend

The three-day weekend is upon us. Readers need no reminder that tomorrow is the Fourth of July, which for many is among the top holidays of the year. It’s a great time to get outdoors, grill some food, drink some beers and set off some fireworks.

But just like they do on other holidays, law enforcement agencies across West Virginia will be out in full force this weekend. Starting at midnight on July 4, police will be on high alert and looking for anyone who may be driving under the influence.

Efforts will include extra patrols as well as DUI checkpoints. And while catching drunk drivers is the primary focus, the West Virginia State Police will also be citing drivers for speeding, failure to wear a seat belt, failure to use child restraints and texting while driving.

If you’ll be drinking alcohol this weekend (as most West Virginians will be), please make sure you plan ahead. The easiest and safest way to avoid legal trouble is to find a designated driver. Failing that, you can also rely on public transportation including buses and taxis.

If you plan to drive home after some moderate drinking, please make sure you are especially careful about monitoring your alcohol intake. Pace your drinking and eat plenty of food. If you aren’t sure that you are legally and physically safe to drive, err on the side of caution and find another way home.

As a final note, remember that during periods of increased enforcement, police may be more likely to make mistakes or to get overzealous in their attempt to catch drunk drivers. If you are cited this weekend, please seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Source: WDTV 5 News, "Mon County Sheriff's Department Cracks Down On Drunk Drivers," Jared Pelletier, July 2, 2014

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