Memorial Day welcomes a three-day weekend and signals the beginning of summer. Many people get the day off of work, and the post office and county courthouses will be closed in honor of those who died in military service. However, not all government employees will be taking the day off. Across the East Bay, law enforcement will be out in full force, looking for drivers who have had too much before getting behind the wheel.
With Memorial Day marking the beginning of summer for many people, you don't want to have to spend your summer without a license to drive, facing court hearings, DUI school, paying out fines and fees, and having a DUI on your record. It is important to stay safe this holiday weekend, and not get behind the wheel if you've been drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana. Cops are on the lookout not only for drunk drivers but increasingly for drugged drivers. You can still get a DUI for marijuana, even if you have a medical marijuana prescription.
Memorial Day weekend has increased rates of alcohol-related accidents and traffic fatalities in California, and across much of the country. July 4th and Labor Day also see increased rates of drunk driving accidents. According to the CHP, last year 31 people died in collisions during the Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period, and more than 1,000 people were arrested by CHP officers on suspicion of drunk driving.
Law enforcement officers in Alameda County and Contra Costa County are well aware of the increased likelihood of drunk drivers on East Bay roads. For the past several years, police officers increase checkpoints and have added DUI patrols out during holiday weekends, including Memorial Day. This often involves high visibility DUI campaigns, with law enforcement departments letting the public know that they are deploying special DUI Saturation Patrols, and deploying all available CHP officers during the Maximum Enforcement Period.
Berkeley police have already announced a planned checkpoint to be deployed on Friday night, until the early hours of Saturday morning. During these sobriety checkpoints, police will briefly delay drivers to look for signs of alcohol or drug impairment, and to check for a valid license. Announcing the location of sobriety checkpoints ahead of time has a deterrent effect on drivers who rethink their plans to drive to a location where they may be drinking.
The good news is that for many drivers, finding alternatives to driving may be easier now that it has ever been. Many areas of the East Bay have good access to public transportation. Alternatively, ridesharing apps like Lyft or Uber provide an alternative to looking for a taxi to get a ride home. Additionally, some services offer to have another driver come out and drive you and your car home, usually for a fee.
Don't risk a DUI, and ruin your summer, or worse. If you are arrested for a DUI over the Memorial Day weekend, call an experienced DUI attorney who understands that you don't have to plead guilty just because you were arrested. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people in the East Bay charged with driving under the influence. For over 30 years, she has personally handled hundreds of cases involving people arrested for DUIs. If you have been arrested for a DUI here in the East Bay, there is still time to keep a conviction off your record, and keep your license. Contact a local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands local DUI laws, and will make sure you get the justice you deserve.