The year 2022 has come to an end. Whether you had a bad year, a great year, or things were just okay, you may want to join friends for an end of the year party to ring in the new year. Many people have New Year's Eve and New Year's Day off of work, so you can stay out late and not have to worry about getting up early the next day to go to work. However, if you had too much to drink and drove home, you may end up with a different kind of hangover if you are stopped by the police.
The New Year's holiday has a lot of drinkers out on the road and the Oakland Police Department and CHP are well aware. Every year, law enforcement in California increases drunk driving patrols around the holiday and any driver suspected of impaired driving will be placed under arrest.
If you are arrested for a DUI on New Year's Eve, one of your first calls should be to an experienced California DUI defense lawyer. An experienced, local DUI lawyer will act quickly to help you keep your license and build a strong legal defense to help you avoid a costly conviction.
New Year's Eve DUI Stats
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the New Year's and Christmas periods in 2018, there were 285 drunk-driving-related fatalities. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), during the New Year's Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) of 2020, 56 people were killed in crashes in California.
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are also peak times for DUI arrests in California. During the 78-hour 2020 to 2021 MEP, CHP officers made 709 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI). In recent years, the CHP and NHTSA have promoted the "Drive High, Get a DUI" campaign, which addressed drivers who may be under the influence of drugs and not just for drunk drivers.
Law Enforcement Patrols on New Year's Eve
During the Maximum Enforcement Periods, all available officers are on the road for enhanced drunk driving and drugged driving enforcement. This year, New Year's Eve falls on a Saturday so the MEP will generally be in place from 6:01 p.m. on Friday, December 30, 2022, to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 1, 2023.
Police may look for signs of possible impairment, including weaving, crossing over the centerline, or delayed response to traffic signals. Once a driver is pulled over, the police may look for other signs of impairment, including the smell of drugs or alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech.
As part of a drunk driving traffic stop, the police may ask the driver to submit a breathalyzer test or do some roadside sobriety tests. You should know before you get pulled over that these tests are not mandatory for most drivers! (Drivers under 21 and drivers on probation for a DUI may have to supply a breath test.). Preliminary alcohol screening devices (PAS) and field sobriety tests (FSTs) may not be accurate and they can actually hurt your case.
Don't Start Off the New Year With a Suspended License
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 39 years of DUI experience and understands the consequences for Oakland drivers arrested for a DUI. Representing drivers in Contra Costa and Alameda County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, local officers, and the prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay DUI defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.