Holidays are a prime opportunity for police officers throughout Clay County to crack down on DUI offenders.
Whether it's St. Patrick's Day, Labor Day Weekend, 4th of July, or the upcoming winter holidays, people tend to drink more than they normally do. Police know this, and they'll use the rise in holiday drunk driving as a means to pull drivers over and make arrests.
They may set up various sobriety checkpoints in Jacksonville or throughout Clay County. Or, they may use any minor traffic infraction or misstep to pull someone over.
What to expect at a New Year's Eve sobriety checkpoint
Sometimes police overstep their bounds and make DUI arrests based on faulty evidence garnered from field sobriety tests and breathalyzers.
Field sobriety tests don't always determine whether or not someone is driving drunk accurately. Any average person may find performing a field sobriety test challenge. Those who have disabilities or other ailments can easily fail one of these tests. Luckily, you are not required by law to take a field sobriety test.
Breath tests, however, are required. Ironically, as we discussed last month, research concludes that breathalyzer devices don't always yield accurate blood alcohol content (BAC) readings. That's why if you're administered a breath test and fail, don't panic. Your arresting officer is not the jury, prosecutor, or judge. He or she only seeks to gather enough evidence to charge you with DUI. Beyond that, an arrest doesn't always mean a conviction.
While you will likely be arrested and booked, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Dos and don'ts when arrested
Should you be arrested and charged with DUI this holiday season, here's what you should and shouldn't do.
- Answer any questions police have — anything you say can be used against you in court, even if you try to argue your innocence
- Resist arrest or try to argue your way out of an arrest
- Sign any papers without first consulting an attorney
- Remain calm
- Comply with police
- Request to speak to an attorney
The attorneys at Aguilar & Sieron, P.A. wish everyone a safe and new year. A night of celebrating with family and friends or attending a holiday festivity should not have to end in a DUI conviction. As former prosecutors, we know how the system works and how to build strong legal defenses for those arrested for DUI.
You can contact us online or call our Jacksonville law office at (904) 264-6000.