Were you arrested during the holiday season? After a rough few years, people in Oakland can look forward to the holidays to gather together, exchange gifts, and enjoy big meals with family and friends. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just happy to have a week off of work, be careful when driving home from these celebrations. Police and law enforcement are watching for impaired drivers.
An arrest over the holiday season is the wrong way to end the year. To make matters worse, if you end up in custody over the holidays, it could take longer to get bail, get released from jail, or get an arraignment. If you do end up under arrest in Oakland or the East Bay, contact an experienced California criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible so you can avoid jail and keep your license.
Maximum Enforcement Period in Oakland and California
Every year, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and other law enforcement offices in Alameda County and Contra Costa County issue their press release announcing stepped-up patrols around the Christmas holiday. Last year, the CHP titled their announcement, "Providing Safety on the Roads Is the CHP's Gift to Motorists This Christmas."
With support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the CHP begins its Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) from the Friday through the Sunday of the Christmas weekend. This year, Christmas falls on a Sunday, so the MEP will likely begin on Friday, December 23rd in the evening and continue through the public holiday on Monday, December 26th.
According to the CHP, "During that time, all available officers will be on the road for enhanced enforcement and to assist any motorists or pedestrians in need of help."
Christmas DUI Arrests and Drunk Driver Accidents
During the Christmas weekend last year, there were 573 drivers arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. Statewide, at least 38 people died in crashes over that same 78-hour holiday enforcement period. If you are going to be drinking with friends or family this Christmas in Oakland, make sure you have a safe way to get home.
A drunk driving arrest can lead to a criminal record and it can end up costing you over $10,000. A phone call to an experienced East Bay DUI defense lawyer can go a long way to helping you avoid the harshest penalties. An attorney can also challenge the administrative per se (APS) DMV license suspension, so you can keep your license at a time when you need to be able to drive.
What Are the Police Looking For Over Christmas?
When the police pull you over during a traffic stop, they are not handing out presents. The police are looking for evidence of impaired driving. Signs of impaired driving can include:
- Sudden braking
- Crossing over the median
- Driving too slow
- Swerving or weaving
- Driving at night without headlights
Once the police make a traffic stop, they can continue to look for evidence to give them probable cause to make a drunk driving arrest. This could include the smell of alcohol on the driver, cans or bottles of alcohol in the car, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or contradictions by the driver.
Can I Avoid a Criminal Conviction After a Drunk Driving Arrest in Oakland?
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 39 years of criminal defense experience and understands the consequences for drivers in Oakland arrested on suspicion of a DUI. Representing individuals and their families in Contra Costa and Alameda County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, local law enforcement practices, and the prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay DUI defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.