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New York police targeting drunk drivers this holiday weekend

In our last post, we discussed the connection between the holiday season and domestic assault calls. But another issue that typically increases during holidays such as Thanksgiving is drunk driving and underage drinking arrests. Many New Yorkers may find themselves pulled over and asked to comply with a sobriety test this weekend, as police in this state have announced that they will be cracking down on citing people for intoxication.

There are two distinct groups of drinkers that police generally focus on during these periods of increased enforcement. There are adults who have had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel and minors who have had anything alcoholic to drink. Each of these groups can face serious consequences if they are stopped and arrested by police.

During this weekend, New York police will be setting up six different sobriety checkpoints across the state. They know that during the holidays, people may be more likely to drink at holiday parties or family functions. This is why they set up the checkpoints to stop any driver who may be intoxicated, whether they are driving unsafely or not. Some of the people stopped in these checkpoints may not be legally drunk, but they can still be stopped and possibly arrested if an officer has reason to suspect they are intoxicated.

During this holiday, many young people are out of school on break which is why police also specified that they will strengthen their efforts to identify and cite underage drinkers. According to reports, plainclothes officers will be patrolling bars and keeping an eye out for minors who are drinking. 

These announcements mean that there could be many people facing serious underage drinking or DWI charges in New York after this weekend. But it is important to remember that being arrested does not mean that you are guilty. There are ways to defend yourself, and your future, by speaking with a criminal defense attorney. With legal support, a person can challenge an arrest and negotiate a resolution that limits a person's exposure to overly harsh punishment. 

Source: New York Post, "Police target drunk, texting drivers," Rebecca Harshbarger, Nov. 26, 2013

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