Though not a legal holiday in the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is widely recognized as a day to celebrate Irish culture.
It is often said that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoying parades, good food and alcohol are some of the ways that Americans celebrate the holiday.
Unfortunately, along with lots of drinking comes the risk of drunk driving. Over the years, this holiday has also ended in tragedy. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were 276 drunk driving related deaths between the years of 2011 and 2015.
Police Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers In Sonoma County
A band of roving patrol officers will be driving Sonoma County roads all weekend looking for DUI drivers, as part of the Sonoma County DUI Task Force.
These officers will be solely making traffic stops in an attempt to get intoxicated drivers off the streets and will be working separately from other officers responding to calls for service and other routine work.
The special patrols are funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administered by California’s Office of Traffic Safety.
Because of the many fatalities that have occurred as a result of driving under the influence on St. Patrick’s Day, local law enforcement agencies are going out in force this St. Patrick’s Day to protect against drunk driving and make sure people are wearing seat belts.
Plan Ahead to Prevent DUI
As part of this initiative, The California Department Of Transportation is reminding drivers to plan ahead for their St. Patrick’s Day weekend celebrations. If you plan to celebrate the holiday weekend by drinking, then make sure to have a plan for how to get home safely.
The California Department Of Transportation is urging drivers to:
-Choose a designated driver before the celebrations start.
-If you drink, use a taxi, mass transit or a sober friend to drive you home.
-Report drunk drivers to law enforcement.
-Wear seat belts.
-Watch your friends, and don’t let anyone you know drive drunk.
Roadside Safety Checks
Legally, law enforcement can set up roadside safety checks to look for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As part of this St. Patrick’s Day weekend safety initiative, law enforcement officers will have roadside DUI checkpoints set up. This will allow them to pull over cars without first having probable cause that an offense has been committed. Drivers suspected of DUI will be asked to complete sobriety tests.
Law enforcement officers are looking for:
-The smell of alcohol.
-Difficulty handing over ID and insurance.
What to Do if Stopped at DUI Checkpoint
If you get stopped at a DUI safety checkpoint, it is important to be polite and considerate to the police officer. This may be an annoyance to you, but it will be over more quickly if you are pleasant and cooperative. However, politeness and cooperativeness does not mean that it is necessary to hand the officers evidence against you.
When pulled over, do:
-Give the officers your license, registration and insurance.
-Politely refuse to answer any other questions.
What to Do if Arrested at a DUI Checkpoint
This first step after an arrest is to contact a reputable Sonoma County DUI attorney. Any time you are arrested, it is important to get a criminal defense attorney to represent your rights. A Sonoma County DUI defense attorney can stand up for you and make sure that your rights are protected. Never attempt to defend yourself.
-Tell the officer that you wish to speak to an attorney.
-Tell the officer that you will exercise your right to remain silent.
Exercising your right to remain silent is in no way an admission of guilt. It is the best way to ensure that your words are not twisted or used against you. Protect yourself by remaining silent and speaking with an attorney.
Sonoma County DUI Defense Attorney Needed
A DUI arrest means that you need a DUI defense attorney. If you get arrested for DUI this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, call Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC to represent your DUI case.
We have a strong record of protecting our clients from DUI charges, and we ensure that our clients have excellent representation.
Don’t risk your job, license or future. Put over 4 decades of combined California DUI Defense experience on your side today!
If your St. Patrick’s Day weekend ends in an arrest, call Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC right away at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a FREE case evaluation.
“The Right DUI Defense Attorney Makes All The Difference”