To all I wish a happy and productive new year. As New Years eve and day soon approaches may I suggest a few words of warning to those driving within the confines of Indiana during this holiday season.
In combination with blizzard roadway conditions throughout the state, law enforcement keen on stockpiling arrests for drunk driving by years end will be looking to poach on motorists traversing hazardous areas most prone to accidents or traffic violations.
Many otherwise responsible drinkers or those revelers who consume alcohol only during the holiday season can too frequently find themselves in legal trouble if naive to the realities of the roadway when it comes to dui enforcement. While county law enforcement policies are often different throughout the state, it is instructive to take note of some of the areas of concern to guard against when driving; especially this time of year.
No one knows the county roadways better than the residents of those locations. Be mindful of any intersections prone to traffic accidents and/or “slide offs” where vehicles may be more susceptible to sliding into ditches in treacherous roadway conditions. Understand whether roundabouts in your area are prevalent means within which unsuspecting motorists can become ensnared in a drunk driving investigation. I can guarantee that local police officers know such areas well; don’t learn them until its too late.
Understand or ask those more familiar what tend to be the roadways most maintained whether it be through salt application or snow removal. In so doing, drivers can keep with the flow of traffic and better insulate themselves from isolated observation and/or limit the potential for accident and resulting dui investigation. Of course, this knowledge can work both ways as the most maintained roadways also carry the prospect of being most observed and monitored by higher numbers of law enforcement looking for the commission of traffic violations.
Although I will never speak to the accuracy of such a suggestion, I have been told by others in law enforcement not to discount the possibility that certain high traffic roadways are not always as well maintained as they can be in the days leading up to New Years day. Theoretically, poor road conditions due to inclement weather can deliver those drivers ultimately testing above a BAC of .08 directly to the squad cars of arresting dui enforcement officers. Without much effort, mother nature brings high numbers of arrestees to the attention of the police as a result of traffic accidents and violations that are the biproduct of poor driving conditions due to winter weather in Indiana.
As I have said in the past, it is always responsible and the morally correct action to offer rides to those who you may believe to be too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. However, in doing so, one must take every conceivable precaution to ensure that the good samaritan designated driver does not in fact carry the possibility of testing over the legal limit. Many a driver has communicated the position that he or she was not “as intoxicated” as the individual trying to aid. Simply put, not being as intoxicated as another you may be trying to assist is not a valid legal excuse against a drunk driving prosecution.
In any event, when offering a ride this holiday season, it is exceedingly important that such a driver take great care in who he or she allows into the vehicle under a driver’s control. The loud or boisterous person demonstrating obvious signs of potential intoxication who you position in your car’s passenger compartment is also the attention grabbing focus of law enforcement eager to direct a potential dui investigation toward the driver’s side door.
Here at the law offices of dui lawyer Gregg J. Stark, we hope that all live well, be safe and enjoy the holiday season!