Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial end of summer. For many individuals, the long weekend is a great time to gather with friends and family for a final summer celebration before settling in for a long Pennsylvania winter. Alcohol is a part of many Labor Day holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, alcohol can also be the cause of Labor Day DUI accidents and DUI stops over the Labor Day Weekend.
Law enforcement officers throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania, including in Erie, Edinboro, and Warren, will be out in full force over the Labor Day Weekend watching for drunk drivers and DUI offenses. Sobriety checkpoints may be set up throughout the state to catch impaired drivers. It is important to keep several key facts in mind when celebrating the holiday to avoid a Labor Day DUI charge during the Labor Day Weekend.
Don’t Drink and Drive!
The best way
to avoid a Labor Day DUI charge is not to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle
after consuming alcohol. Even if your BAC is not above the legal limit of .08,
you can be charged with DUI if your ability to operate the vehicle is impaired by
alcohol. Therefore, your best course of action is to avoid driving if you
intend to enjoy any alcoholic beverages while celebrating Labor Day.
Ways you can avoid a DUI charge include:
- Designate a sober driver before you leave home. Depending on the size of your group or gathering, you may need more than one designated driver to ensure everyone makes it home safely after a Labor Day celebration.
- Use a local taxi service, Uber, or other form of public transportation. If you are celebrating with a large group, consider hiring a limo to take you around town for the evening. If you are drinking, it is better to play it safe and don’t drive.
- Host a party at your home. If you do not leave home, you cannot be pulled over for drunk driving. However, if you host a party at home, make sure you are a responsible host. Do not allow others to drink and drive. Consider providing overnight accommodations for guests who have too much to drink or provide safe forms of transportation home for guests who drink too much.
What Should You Do During A Labor Day DUI Stop?
If you are stopped for suspicion of drunk driving over the Labor Day Weekend, it is important to know your legal rights during a DUI stop. First, try to remain calm. A Labor Day DUI stop is not an arrest. Do not make any sudden movements. It is best to keep your driver’s license and proof of insurance within easy reach so that you do not need to fumble for these documents. Place your hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officer to come to your window and give you instructions.
Listen to the officer carefully and follow his instructions. Treating an officer with respect and common courtesy will make the traffic stop easier for you and the officer. If you become hostile and rude, your attitude could make the officer more suspicious and confirm the officer’s personal belief that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Do not make statements or answer questions that would incriminate yourself. You are required to provide your name, proof of insurance, and driver’s license. You are not required to say whether you have had anything to drink, how much you have had to drink, where you are coming from, or where you are going.
If you have been drinking, it may be best to tell the officer politely and respectfully that you have been advised not to answer any questions. Officers who believe they have probable cause for a Labor Day DUI stop are probably not going to be swayed either way by your refusal to answer questions.
You can refuse to take field sobriety tests, but you are likely to be arrested because an officer may see your refusal as an admission of guilt. However, if you have been drinking, taking the field sobriety tests may give officers additional evidence against you. Whether you should refuse field sobriety tests, blood tests, or breathalyzers is a complicated matter. Your refusal could be used against you, and you can lose your driver’s license for refusing chemical testing once you are taken into custody. However, taking these tests gives the police officers more evidence against you.
One of the best things you can do to protect your legal rights is to call an Erie DUI attorney as soon as possible after being arrested for DUI. An attorney can advise you of your legal rights and discuss how you should proceed. The sooner you have an experienced DUI attorney helping you with your case, the better chance you have of achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
Contact an Erie DUI Attorney Now for Help
Call Attorney Travis of The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to request a free consultation with a Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney. A Labor Day DUI arrest is not a guilty verdict. Exercise your right to present a strong defense to criminal charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer in Erie.