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Navigating the Fourth of July amid heightened enforcement

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Alcohol-Related Offenses, DUI/DWI

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration. It’s a day to honor our nation’s independence, enjoy barbecues with family and friends, and marvel at fireworks lighting the night sky. Still, it’s also a time when law enforcement agencies ramp up their efforts to keep the roads safe from impaired drivers.

A time of increased enforcement

Here in San Antonio, Texas, local law enforcement agencies are known to increase their DWI and DUI enforcement efforts during the Fourth of July and other holidays. This heightened enforcement often involves setting up checkpoints throughout the city and increasing patrols in areas known for holiday celebrations. The goal is to deter people from driving under the influence and to quickly identify and arrest those who choose to do so.

What to do if you’re stopped

Regardless of whether you’ve had any alcohol to drink, it’s essential to remain calm and follow these steps:

  1. Pull Over Safely: When you notice a police car signaling you to pull over, find a safe place to stop your vehicle.
  2. Stay in the Vehicle: Unless instructed by the officer, remain in your vehicle.
  3. Be Polite and Cooperative: Address the officer respectfully and comply with their requests.
  4. Exercise Your Rights: Remember, you have the right to remain silent if you choose to do so. You also have the right to refuse field sobriety tests and Breathalyzer tests, although refusal has its legal consequences, such as automatic license suspension.

Potential penalties for DUI and DWI

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can lead to severe penalties. Texas has both DWI (over .08 blood alcohol level) and DUI (under .08, but still under the influence of any type of intoxication) charges. A first-time DWI conviction can result in fines up to $2,000, a jail sentence ranging from three days to 180 days, loss of driver’s license for up to a year, and an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain your driver’s license. The penalties then increase based on the driver’s prior record and the details surrounding the arrest.

It’s best to be proactive

While the Fourth of July is a time for celebration, it’s also a time to be aware of the increased DUI enforcement efforts. We encourage everyone to stay safe, make responsible choices, and ensure your holiday remains a joyful occasion. It’s, nonetheless, wise to be proactive if you do find yourself charged with a DUI. An experienced DUI attorney can protect the defendant’s rights and ensure the charges match the arrest circumstances. They also can argue to reduce the penalties and their impact.