Prosecutors Predict Increase in New Year's Weekend DWI Arrests
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers made 400 arrests for suspicion of driving while intoxicated during the Christmas and New Year’s weekends last year. Local and state law enforcement always anticipate an increase in DWI incidents during holidays, but prosecutors believe there may be even more arrests than normal because of the day of the week that New Year’s Day falls on. Having the weekend followed by New Year’s Eve on Monday and New Year’s Day on Tuesday could mean a long weekend of drinking leading up to the holiday.
How Police Prepare
Local police departments often use public information campaigns to educate people about the dangers of drunk driving and the potential consequences if you are caught. For a major holiday, they prepare for an increased number of drunk drivers by increasing their own enforcement efforts:
- More police officers are on patrol, watching for drunk drivers on roads they are most likely to use;
- More prosecutors are available to advise officers on whether there is probable cause to make a DWI arrest;
- More judges are on call to issue blood warrants, which require you to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test; and
- More nurses are available to draw blood samples to be tested.
Law enforcement sometimes sets up DWI checkpoints, where officers stop all drivers to check for signs of intoxication. However, Texas has not authorized DWI checkpoints because they subject drivers to a search without establishing reasonable suspicion of committing a crime.
How You Can Prepare
The surest way to avoid a DWI arrest on New Year’s Eve is to not drive. You can use public transportation or plan on having a designated driver. If you must drive on New Year’s Eve, an officer may stop you even if you believe you are not intoxicated. During a traffic stop, you should:
- Remain calm and composed;
- Reasonably cooperate with the officer;
- Provide information only if the officer asks for it; and
- Understand that the officer cannot require you to participate in any sobriety tests without producing a warrant or arresting you.
Contact a San Antonio DWI Defense Attorney
Officers working on New Year’s Eve are more likely to make a traffic stop with the assumption that it is a DWI incident. They are required to have reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime in order to stop you and probable cause that you are intoxicated in order to arrest you for DWI. A San Antonio DWI defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock can contest a DWI arrest that was based on false conclusions. Schedule a free consultation by calling 888-726-5625.