DUI Arrests Over Memorial Day Weekend Up from 2016
The number of arrests made for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania over Memorial Day weekend went up this year compared to the 2016 totals, according to representatives from the Pennsylvania State Police.
Each year, Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for DUI enforcement, and 2017 was no exception. This year, state police handled 757 traffic accidents over the weekend, with those crashes leading to 178 injuries and nine fatalities. Police officers also made 550 arrests for DUI, a significant increase from the 475 arrests made over the holiday weekend in 2016.
Police departments throughout the state, along with the state police, set up more DUI checkpoints for Memorial Day weekend in anticipation of the greater number of people who may be driving while impaired. These checkpoints involve officers stopping drivers using a specific pattern or sequence (such as stopping every fifth vehicle). Officers then evaluate the stopped motorists for signs of impairment. These checkpoints have proven to be an effective means of catching DUI offenders and discouraging drunk driving overall.
What rights do you have at a DUI checkpoint?
DUI checkpoints are commonly used when law enforcement agencies have reason to believe that a specific period or stretch of road will see an increased likelihood of impaired driving. As a motorist, you still have certain rights at DUI checkpoints that police cannot infringe upon.
The following are a few examples of those rights:
- You may refuse to consent to a search of your vehicle.
- You have a right not to perform field sobriety tests.
- You do not have to submit to a roadside preliminary breath test (PBT).
- You do not have to answer questions an officer asks. While it is advisable to be cooperative, you should not offer any more information than is requested of you.
For more information regarding these checkpoints and your constitutional rights, meet with experienced Berks County DUI defense attorney David R. Eshelman.