The 4th of July weekend is known for fireworks, food, and celebrating with friends and family. Thousands of Independence Day parties and gatherings will occur over the weekend in 2015 in the Denver area alone and many of these parties will likely involve alcohol. Unfortunately, if you decide to drive home after drinking, your weekend may take a turn for the worse as you may find yourself behind bars. This is because law enforcement agencies in and around Denver are especially on the lookout for potentially intoxicated drivers over this holiday weekend.
The Heat is On Campaign is a tactical enforcement effort to arrest drunk drivers across Colorado during key times of the year. These times include holidays, weekends with special events, and also random enforcement periods. Since the 4th of July is known as one of the deadliest traffic days of the year, this is also a major weekend for police to increase enforcement of Colorado’s DUI and DWAI laws.
Watch for certain enforcement techniques
Police presence will increase on the streets in the Denver area, however adding patrol cars is not the only tool that law enforcement has to seek out drivers who have been drinking or using drugs. Two additional enforcement tactics are as follows:
- Saturation patrols – Saturation patrols exist when a large group of officers gather in an area that is particularly known for drunk driving. This could be in an entertainment district with numerous restaurants, bars, and other establishments or outside of a park where a 4th of July festival is taking place. Officers are looking for any signs of potential drunk driving and can often mistake a simple error on the road as a signal of intoxication. This can lead to unnecessary traffic stops and, too often, wrongful arrests.
- Sobriety checkpoints – A checkpoint is set up in the road and drivers must filter through the police, with officers supposedly stopping vehicles at random to investigate whether they have been drinking. Unfortunately, police often do not follow proper procedures during checkpoints and end up targeting certain cars because of stereotypes or other improper reasons, which can often result in a violation of your constitutional rights. If you are arrested for DUI during a checkpoint, an experienced DUI defense attorney can argue that the arrest was illegal if improper checkpoint procedures were followed.
Regardless of the mistakes police can make during increased enforcement periods, you should always remember that the best way to avoid a DUI arrest during the July 4th weekend is to avoid getting behind the wheel after you have been drinking. Plan for alternate forms of transportation if you suspect that alcohol may be a part of your celebration.
In the unfortunate event that you do get arrested on suspicion of DUI over July 4th weekend, your first call should be to an experienced defense lawyer at the Tiftickjian Law Firm in Denver. We are available to help you from the very beginning of your case, so please call our office today at 303-DUI-5280 to discuss your case.