During holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Texas law enforcement agencies typically ramp up enforcement of various offenses, including drunk driving; this Memorial Day is no different. It was recently announced that all weekend-long, Texas police will be cracking down on pulling over drivers suspected of drunk driving.
Last year, more than 385 people were arrested during the holiday weekend and police issued tens of thousands of tickets. It is safe to assume that similar numbers are expected this year. With this in mind, it would be wise to remember three very important things about DWI stops and your rights.
- Even during periods of ramped up enforcement, police still need a reason to pull you over. They cannot randomly pull people over without cause and then hope to spot a violation. However, the reason can be something as minor as a broken tail light, making a turn without using a signal or not wearing your seatbelt.
- If you are pulled over, stay calm, be polite and remember your rights. You do not have to consent to a warrantless search of your vehicle; you do not have to submit to chemical testing; you do not have to volunteer information regarding possible reasons for the stop or details about where you are going or coming from.
- Increased enforcement means an increased focus on pulling drivers over and making arrests or handing out tickets. In other words, it's a numbers game for police. If you disagree with why you were stopped or arrested, you will not be able to resolve the issue on the side of the road, so don't make things worse by resisting arrest or yelling at the officer.
The best way to avoid a drunk driving arrest is to refrain from driving while intoxicated. By planning ahead now for transportation this weekend, you can be doing yourself and others a big favor. However, if you are arrested, all hope is not lost. You can consult an attorney and take the steps necessary to defend yourself and avoid conviction.