Independence Day is one of the most popular American holidays. Many full-time workers get the day off, even if it falls in the middle of the week. After all, it is a federal holiday. Even those who still have to work will usually try their hardest to participate in some celebration, whether it is watching an evening fireworks display with their friends or attending a barbecue before they have to leave for work.
All of that socialization carries with it an increased social pressure to consume alcohol as part of the fun. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to have a few drinks while you relax and celebrate with the people you love, you should know that there will likely be more risk of getting caught if you try to drive after having a few drinks on Independence Day or the weekend directly before or after the holiday.
Nothing will ruin your holiday fun or destroy your summer vacation plans faster than a criminal charge related to impaired driving on a holiday. Every year, law enforcement around the country catch and arrest people for impaired driving on Independence Day.
Many police departments celebrate the 4th with checkpoints
While the average American celebrates the 4th of July with fireworks, hot dogs and watermelon, law enforcement officials celebrate the holiday by cracking down on drunk driving. The 4th of July is known as one of the most dangerous days on the road.
In fact, various police departments across New York have routinely targeted both the holiday itself as well as the weekends before or after Independence Day for sobriety checkpoints. In other words, law enforcement officers are probably going to shut down roads with the intention of screening for impaired drivers. They did so last year and arrested seven people just in Long Island.
Although it is legal and possible for someone to turn around when they notice a checkpoint, it is also possible for police to still pull that person over if they see them leaving. For those intending to celebrate with alcohol, the safest option is either to have a sober driver or to pay a professional through a taxi service or rideshare app.
You have rights even if you get arrested at a checkpoint
Too many people mistakenly believe that once they get arrested for impaired driving, there is no way to defend themselves. The truth is that law enforcement officers can and do make mistakes when discerning who is sober and who is not.
It is possible for medical conditions to mirror the symptoms of inebriation. The devices that law enforcement rely on to test for chemicals can also provide inaccurate readings that result in unnecessary arrests.
Regardless of your circumstances, before you make up your mind about how to proceed after a drunk driving arrest, you would likely benefit from sitting down to talk with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney.