Now that the holiday season is over, most Minnesotans are settling into the slower pace that January brings. Unfortunately, thousands of Minnesotans are currently facing the grim reality of criminal charges related to holiday overindulgence.
According to news reports, law enforcement agencies across the state made just over 2,500 drunk driving arrests in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. While most DWI arrests occurred in the Twin Cities metro and surrounding suburbs, agencies in many other parts of the state made arrests as well.
As is the case every year, law enforcement agencies increased DWI patrols during this holiday period, particularly on weekends and on holidays themselves. The end of the year is often associated with a spike in drunk driving incidents and accidents, as are certain other holidays throughout the year.
There is little doubt that drunk driving does increase during these periods, but the greater law enforcement presence could also be a factor in the increase in DWI arrests. During periods of increased enforcement, police officers tend to cast a wide net. This means they are quicker to pull drivers over, including those they might not stop at other times of year.
Because of this, it is reasonable to assume that at least some mistakes were made. Although many drivers may have been legally intoxicated, some may not have been. Field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests and other aspects of a DWI stop cannot be rushed. When they are, errors can occur and innocent drivers can be erroneously charged with drunk driving.
If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI, you can’t afford to take chances. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can ensure that your rights are not violated and that you understand all of your legal options.