The Fourth of July weekend is notoriously known for being one of the most dangerous times to drive on the road. During this period, people are often partying, setting off fireworks, and drinking alcohol in celebration. Much like Memorial Day weekend, this means that there was strong police presence on the roads in an effort to keep the public safe.
According to the CHP, over 1300 people were arrested statewide for DUI during this Fourth of July weekend. Compared with the 389 people that were arrested last year, the number of DUI arrests more than tripled during this time period. The CHP also reported 32 fatalities over this four-day enforcement period, up from 18 last year. About a third of the people who died were not wearing seatbelts at the time of their accidents.
The best thing to do during celebrations like this past weekend is to understand and practice safety. “Have a plan. If you are going to drink, designate a sober driver, use a taxi, or use a ride-share service,” CHP officials stated in their release. By prioritizing safety, you can help keep yourself and others safe.
In addition, it is important to remember that being nervous while at a DUI checkpoint will make you look suspicious. If you end up getting stopped at a DUI checkpoint and have the lingering scent of alcohol on your breath, remember to stay calm. You have the right to remain silent. In this instance, silence can be your friend. Giving the police too much information about yourself may cause the officer to question your sobriety. On the flip side, you also can’t just sit there and refuse to answer the officer’s questions; this will rouse suspicion. Keep to the point and only say what is necessary in telling your story. You don’t need to include anything about how you just left the bars with friends or was on your way home from a party.
It is important that people be very careful in executing their rights at a DUI checkpoint. Like we talked about in What Are a Persons Rights at a DUI Checkpoint?, there are certain things that you can say and do in checkpoint situations. Be aware of what your best options are.