Little Rock, AR- New Year’s Eve is one of the popular drinking nights of the year. It also happens to be one of the busiest nights for police and marked by more deadly drunk driving accidents than any other night of the year. USAttorneys urges everyone to avoid drinking and driving this New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but we also want you to know what your rights are if you are pulled over or stopped at a DUI checkpoint this holiday weekend.
DUI arrests spike on NYE
After analyzing data from the past five years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that each New Year’s Day an average of 70 die in accidents involving an intoxicated motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian. Every other day of the year, there is an average of 28 drunk driving deaths.
On New Year’s Day, 62 percent of fatal crashes involve an intoxicated motorist, according to the IIHS.
Enhanced DUI patrols
Because there is a greater number of drunk drivers on the road on New Year’s Eve and Day, law enforcement agencies across the U.S. beef up street patrols and set up roadblocks. Arkansas is one of the many states joining the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign, which will continue through Sunday, January 1st.
Little Rock residents can expect to see more patrol cars and could run across a DUI checkpoint.
Arkansas police will be conducting the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign this NYE.
What do I do if I’m stopped for DUI?
Whether you have been drinking or not, you need to know
Don’t be nervous- Being nervous in a normal reaction to being stopped by police, but displaying nervousness can make you seem more suspicious. If you are pulled over, try not to panic and be respectful for an officer.
Think carefully before answering questions-An officer is going to ask you a few questions including Have you had anything to drink tonight? Or, they may ask: How many drinks have you had today? Whatever the question, you need to answer truthfully, but you should avoid giving any unnecessary information.
What if I have been drinking? – If you were drinking, you need to be careful what you say and face the possibility that you might spend the night in jail. In this situation, you can assert your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination which won’t protect you completely from being a charge but can keep you from doing further damage to your defense.
Submit to chemical tests or breathalyzers? Arkansas law dictates that all motorists in the state must submit to field sobriety tests, but some refuse. In some cases, it’s wise to refuse a breath test, but the penalties for refusal are often worse that the DUI.
If you have the misfortune of being arrested and charged with DUI this NYE or NYD, USAttorneys recommends you get the advice of a defense attorney. We can connect you with an experienced and skilled DUI lawyer in Little Rock to work on your defense and help you avoid a conviction. Call and set up a consultation today.