Holiday weekends have often become synonymous with alcohol-fueled parties and are notorious for an increase in Oklahoma drunk driving arrests.
Steps to Reduce Drunk Driving
In an attempt to curb the number of intoxicated drivers on the road, and deadly accidents that are a direct result, local law enforcement agencies frequently set up sobriety checkpoints during most holidays, especially those considered "party holidays," such as New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day, Independence Day, and Halloween.
Last Friday night, the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office kicked off Halloween weekend with a sobriety checkpoint in southwest Oklahoma City. In the first hour of operation, the checkpoint resulted in two Oklahoma DUI arrests.
There were seven total DUI arrests from the checkpoint over the course of the evening. However, the sobriety checkpoint resulted in a total of seven arrests, including driving under suspension and outstanding warrants.
Officers also issued ninety-nine citations for violations including expired tags, speeding, lack of insurance, and improper child restraint. While police and law enforcement officials say that sobriety checkpoints are the best way to get intoxicated drivers off of Oklahoma streets, others say that these checkpoints are a violation of Constitutional rights.
At particular issue, say civil rights groups, is the invasion of privacy created by sobriety checkpoints. For example, prior to Friday night's DUI checkpoint, Oklahoma County deputies were instructed to ask drivers where they had been, where they were going, and if they had anything to drink before driving.
Understanding Your Rights
Defense lawyers in Oklahoma City point out that drivers are not obligated to answer these questions. Individuals stopped by police are only required to give police their identification and proof of insurance. Even prior to being arrested and read their Miranda rights, people have the right to maintain their silence and refrain from saying anything that may incriminate them.
It's also important to understand that breathalyzers aren't perfect and sometimes result in false positives.
If you are arrested for DUI in Oklahoma, contact and experienced lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. For more information you can contact us at Phillips & Associates for a free case evaluation.