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....