The Grinch who steals Christmas this year may not be in green, but he could be blue and carry a gun. Holiday and work parties are a daunting occasion in themselves, without the specter of a DUI arrest looming overhead. Police departments have mandates throughout the state and San Diego to increase DUI patrols and be especially aware of anyone suspected of drunk driving.
While many people know that driving on a Friday or Saturday has increased risk of coming across a DUI checkpoint, what most drivers don’t know is many officers are on patrol specifically looking to make DUI arrests. In San Diego locations with high concentrations of restaurants and popular locations for office-related parties are swarming with police. Area’s in North County like Del Mar and Encinitas which are popular work event destinations have high concentrations of officers on DUI saturation patrols. Many work-place events are also being conducted at the many microbreweries throughout San Diego. These DUI patrols are conducted by asking out of area officers who are trained in DUI detection to increase police presence.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney George Gedulin gives this advice about DUI’s in the holiday season, “Police departments are always under pressure to make DUI arrests. If you are leaving or going to a work or holiday party be extra cautious, don’t give the police any reason to stop or detain you. If you are pulled over be respectful, comply with the officers and explain that you understand the officer is doing their job but you would like to be on your way.”
The biggest mistake a driver can make is believing that because of its a workday or not nigh time, fewer officers or on patrol or less inclined to be looking for DUI drivers. This is a serious mistake and often leads to unnecessary and sometimes unlawful arrests. The police or CHP don’t need to suspect you of drunk driving to stop you. Any driving violation can give law enforcement a reason to pull someone over. Changing lanes without proper signal, speeding, or failing to stop at a stop sign are all pretenses used by police in areas with concentrations of partygoers. It may not be lawful, but the police are betting on a number of those they pull over for petty moving violations to have been drinking.
Anyone pulled over in the evening is already in the category of suspected drinkers. Whether you are under the legal limit for alcohol consumption or not, the officer's job is to gather as much information as you are willing to give them. Driving is a privilege, and the attitude you should show law enforcement is that you understand this. Giving the police a bad attitude will never help your situation and usually puts you in deeper on the road to a DUI arrest.
Experienced San Diego DUI Attorney George Gedulin reminds all drivers, “While driving is a privilege, every person has constitutional rights that must be respected by law enforcement. The longer you are stopped by police, the more evidence they must have that you had committed a crime like driving under the influence.”