Many people are looking forward to celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year. It is the first time in several years that the holiday falls on a Saturday. For some, this means they will be able to really enjoy the holiday without having to worry about going to work the next day.
The weekend celebration has police concerned about an increase in the number of individuals driving under the influence (DUI). Already, drunk driving is responsible for more than 30 percent of all fatal crashes. With the holiday weekend, police are planning measures to make sure that number isn’t higher. Checkpoints will be established across the state throughout the weekend.
Those individuals who didn’t plan for a designated driver may be surprised by a new innovation. Motorcycle patrols that can easily ride up beside drivers to check for signs of intoxication will be on the streets.
Despite the checkpoints, there are limits to what the police can do. Police are required to follow these guidelines:
- Provide advance notice of the checkpoint
- Have an unbiased and neutral formula for determining which vehicles will be stopped
- Keep the checkpoint short and maintain a focus on preserving public safety.
Fighting a DUI charge often requires knowledge of the best ways to challenge DUI evidence, including how it was obtained. Even if the police or prosecutors make it seem like their case is iron clad, there are always defenses. Breath tests and field sobriety tests are not foolproof.
There are stiff penalties for DUIs in California. The best way to fight a DUI charge is not to get one in the first place. Arranging for a designated driver or planning your celebration so you won’t have to drive is the best way to steer clear of trouble this holiday weekend.
www.reuters.com, “Cinco de Mayo Checkpoints to Pop Up Nationwide,” Andrew Chow, 1 May 2012 [no longer available from source website]