Few things go together like alcohol, grilling and fireworks on the Fourth of July. The freedom we celebrate on Independence Day often gives people a sense of invulnerability not felt on any other holiday. Although alcohol goes well with some celebrations, it never combines well with driving. If DUI has blown up your life after Independence Day, then it's time to seek legal help.
Fourth of July weekend common for DUI
According to Fortune, 40 percent of all drinking and driving related deaths occur during the extended Fourth of July weekend. Further, more than one-tenth of the U.S. population travels more than 50 miles from home, making the combination of alcohol and high-traffic volume particularly treacherous. Therefore, law enforcement has a significant incentive to seek out drivers they suspect of driving under the influence of alcohol during this time.
The penalties for a first-time drinking and driving offense in California could include:
- Administrative and criminal fines totaling $2,000.
- Six months revocation of driver's license.
- 48 hours in jail.
- Mandatory alcohol treatment classes.
- Installation of ignition interlock device on vehicle.
- Possible confiscation of vehicle.
DUI defense strategies
DUI can affect more than just your driving privileges. Prospects for employment, education and some loans can be negatively impacted by a conviction too. Although the penalties for DUI are explosive, you are still entitled to certain rights after an arrest. How can an attorney help people accused of DUI?
Careful analysis of the facts of your case is important following a DUI arrest. Police are required to follow certain protocol related to the administration of breath tests and the searching of vehicles. Law enforcement's zealous activity during the Fourth of July weekend could cause them to cut corners on the procedure.
Common questions a DUI defense attorney can raise in court include:
- Did the police have probable cause to pull you over and administer a field sobriety or breath test?
- Was the breath test device properly calibrated when police administered it?
- Did your blood alcohol content (BAC) raise from the time you were pulled over until a test was conducted while in custody?
- Did the police make you aware of your rights after the arrest?
Fourth of July is a celebration of the rights we have as Americans. By understanding DUI penalties and defense strategies, you can be prepared to use your rights to your advantage after an arrest.