Certain holidays have increased accidents related to drinking and driving. Along with the 4th of July and Labor Day, the Memorial Day weekend, which marks the beginning of summer, all have higher than average rates of driving under the influence (DUI) in Virginia and across the country. Law enforcement in Virginia is aware of the increased impaired driving and often increases patrols over the long weekend.
If you or a family member are pulled over by police for a DUI, contact your Charlottesville criminal defense lawyer to make sure your rights are defended and avoid a costly criminal record. Contact attorney me today for a free consultation.
Memorial Day DUI Stats
According to the Automobile Association of America (AAA), the Thursday evening before Memorial Day is the worst time to be on the road. Approximately 1.5 million travelers will be driving through Virginia for the three-day weekend and 40 million across the country. With many people taking a Friday off from work or school. 4:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. is expected to be the worst time to be on the road.
Memorial Day weekend begins the so-called “100 Deadly Days of Summer.” The summer is a period of increased road trips, younger and less experienced drivers out of school and on the road, longer days and warmer nights. Summer also has more people enjoying drinks while out at a barbecue, on the water, or at summer festivals and concerts.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), more than 1/3rd of 2017 Memorial Day weekend traffic deaths were caused by drunk driving.
During the Memorial Day weekend increased enforcement period in 2018, Virginia troopers made more than 120 DUI arrests.
Increased Memorial Day Patrols
As part of the Commonwealth's Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort (CARE), the Virginia State Police will be increasing patrols over the long weekend. The increased enforcement period begins just after midnight on May 24 and continues through midnight May 27th.
In addition to police looking for impaired drivers, the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign occurs each year around the Memorial Day holiday period. Police are looking for unbuckled drivers on the roads. As with any traffic stop, an initial ticket or warning for a minor infraction can lead to an arrest if the police discover the driver is impaired.
According to VSP Superintendent Colonel Gary T. Settle, “More than a million drivers on Virginia's highways over the Memorial Day weekend means we have more than a million reasons to safely share the road, buckle up, drive distraction free, comply with speed limits and to not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs."
Sobriety Checkpoints in Virginia
In addition to increased enforcement, drivers in Virginia may see sobriety checkpoints this summer. Last month, police arrested a driver for a DUI at a Friday night sobriety checkpoint in Loudoun County.
Sobriety checkpoints have been found to be constitutionally legal in the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, checkpoints are required to meet certain safety and systematic procedures to protect the rights of drivers. If the police do not follow the rules for sobriety checkpoints in Virginia, your criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge DUI checkpoint arrest.
Charlottesville DUI Defense Lawyer
A DUI arrest can be a bad start to the summer. If you are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Virginia, talk to an experienced Charlottesville criminal defense attorney about your rights so you can keep your license to drive.