There are certain times of year when the Mississippi roads will be busier than normal. One such time is during the holidays. In general, the “holiday season” goes from the end of November for Thanksgiving and through the New Year. With that, people will be attending gatherings and preparing for various events. Frequently, that includes drinking alcohol and using other potentially intoxicating substances. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are common causes of auto accidents. This is a catalyst for law enforcement increasing its presence on the road and making more traffic stops and arrests.
State highway patrol says impaired drivers were up over Christmas
According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, there was a spike in DUI and DWI arrests over Christmas from Dec. 23 through Dec. 26. During that time, there were 146 such arrests. The number of drivers arrested for this violation was higher than it was in 2020 when there were 130. Part of that is believed to be due to the ongoing societal situation that limited travel. People have been slowly returning to their regular holiday plans adding to road volume. Other citations were given for violations such as failure to wear a seatbelt and children who were not properly restrained.
During the holidays, law enforcement tends to be out in force – especially for New Year’s celebrations when people tend to drink alcohol. From Dec. 30 through Jan. 2, that includes available troopers being on the job to look for drivers who are committing violations that range from simple safety issues to DUI/DWI. Checkpoints are often used to catch drivers who might not be showing obvious signs of being under the influence like swerving, driving at a low speed or behaving recklessly. There tends to be a significant number of DUI/DWI arrests as the calendar changes from one year to the next. From 2020 to 2021, there were 184 DUI/DWI arrests over the New Year.
Drivers have rights after a DWI/DUI arrest
Law enforcement is vigilant in trying to catch drivers who might be committing a DUI/DWI. While that is a noble endeavor, it does not automatically mean those who are arrested are guilty. The basis of the arrest must be scrutinized as part of an effective criminal defense. The reason for the traffic stop could be questionable. The law enforcement officer might not have adhered to protocol. Or the driver’s rights could have been violated in some way. Jail time, loss of driving privileges and fines are possible if there is a conviction. It is useful to have professional help to assess the case. This can lead to a positive result to avoid the worst consequences.