November 24, 2015
Thanksgiving Can Lead to Scranton DWI Arrests
Thanksgiving in Scranton, PA can mean saturation patrols aimed at identifying impaired drivers. While these saturation patrols often lead to many DWI arrests, the actions of law enforcement are not always constitutional in every case and not every arrest ends up resulting in a conviction.
If you are arrested for impaired driving in Scranton over Thanksgiving, you need to begin developing an effective DWI defense as soon as possible when the holiday is over.
DWI Arrests in Scranton Due to Added Enforcement Over Thanksgiving
Times-Tribune reports in Thanksgivings past, supervisors including the Chief of Police, lieutenants, sergeants, and corporals have run saturation patrols on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Over the course of one year, six people were arrested in one saturation patrol on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.
Enhanced enforcement of drunk driving laws occurs throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving, as well as on the holiday and on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday immediately after. The stepped-up enforcement occurs as safety advocates caution Thanksgiving has become a more dangerous time of the year for impaired driving even than other high-risk days like New Year’s Eve. Wall Street Journal, for example, indicates 4,000 troopers in PA made 412 arrests over Thanksgiving weekend, compared with just 276 arrests over New Years and 197 arrests over Christmas weekend.
Thanksgiving has become such a high-risk time, some refer to the Wednesday night before as Black Out Wednesday. Among the age groups who routinely become impaired on this evening are college students, who may be home from school for the first time since summer break and who take the opportunity to hit the bars with old friends.
No matter your age, you need to be aware police will be out looking for impaired motorists over Thanksgiving. You should do everything you can to avoid a DWI arrest. This means creating a plan to avoid impaired driving and knowing what your rights are if you are pulled over or if you are arrested.
Deciding on a plan to get home is important before you begin drinking. You should identify someone who will be a designated driver, and make sure the DD stays sober over the course of the night. Having a backup plan, including bringing the telephone number of a local taxi company with you, is also a smart choice to make sure you do not end up with no ride home and no choice but to get behind the wheel after drinking.
If you are pulled over by police around Thanksgiving, you are not required to partake in field sobriety tests, which are often difficult for police to judge. You also are not required to have your blood alcohol concentration checked by a handheld field breathalyzer, which can sometimes be unreliable.
With probable cause and reason to suspect impairment, implied consent laws can require your BAC be tested. However, if the police acted improperly and your rights were violated, it is possible to prevent unlawfully obtained evidence from being presented in a criminal trial.