The Holidays Are a Time of Heavy Enforcement of California DUI Laws
More Than an Urban Legend – Police Enforce DUI Laws More During the Holidays
If you’ve ever driven on a major holiday, you’ve probably noticed an increase in California law enforcement vehicles. It’s not just your imagination – police really are more active during holiday seasons. The holidays are a time of heavy enforcement of California DUI laws. Last Thanksgiving, for example, California Highway Patrol made 66 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests from November 22nd to November 26th. The state incorporates a “holiday maximum enforcement period” to detect and arrest more drunk drivers. Here’s what you need to know while hitting the road during the upcoming holidays.
Holidays Hold Historic Highs for DUIs
There is a reason the state created a maximum enforcement rule during the holidays – they are notoriously prone to drunk driving incidents. Around the holidays, there are more vehicles on the road, more hours spent traveling, and more opportunities to attend parties and imbibe. Many drivers who don’t normally drink before driving do so on holidays such as the Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve – simply because everyone else was drinking and they didn’t plan a ride ahead of time.
Due to infamously high DUI rates, California law enforcement decided to ramp up their efforts during the most wonderful time of the year. The goal is to catch more drunk drivers before they can cause accidents, injuries, and deaths. To target the maximum number of holiday drunk drivers, police set up Orange County DUI checkpoints, roadblocks, and saturation patrols during the holidays. All available California police officers deploy to catch impaired drivers and other traffic violators during holiday periods of maximum enforcement.
What to Know About Holiday DUI Law Enforcement
If you’re planning on attending holiday parties this season, don’t plan on driving home. There are plenty of alternatives to driving in California, from ride-share services like Uber and Lyft to taking the public bus. Plan your ride ahead of time, either with a service or through a friend who has promised not to drink. That way, you can drink or not drink without having to worry about how you’ll get home. Deciding not to drive could not only help you avoid a holiday DUI – it could save your life.
California police are more active on holidays than other days of the year. It’s a fact you should not take lightly when making your holiday plans. New Year’s Eve is especially thick with police officers, as it’s the holiday with the greatest number of DUI arrests across the United States. You may encounter police checkpoints on your way home, which are legal roadblocks officers set up to check for suspected impaired drivers. At a DUI or sobriety checkpoint, police may ask you to stop your vehicle, show your license or insurance information, or perform sobriety tests if they notice any signs of impairment.
In general, police officers can only make sobriety tests mandatory if they have reason to suspect an impaired driver. If you refuse the sobriety tests at a checkpoint, you’re subject to the same penalties that would apply to refusal during a typical DUI stop – a one-year license suspension. No one wants to spend the time of cheer behind bars. If you receive a DUI over the holidays, especially here in Orange County, California, retain an Orange County DUI attorney for a free case review as soon as possible.