The last two months feature some of the most important holidays for large families. Many workers are planning their days off to drive hours on the road just to spend time with their loved ones while celebrating the most festive times of the year. Unfortunately, some will not get the chance to do so.
Thanksgiving and Christmas have some of the highest DUI arrest rates in Pennsylvania. If residents are not careful, they could be spending their holidays in a prison cell instead of their mother’s kitchen. Motorists should be aware of how many cops are on the road and what they are looking for as the end of the year approaches.
Speed traps occur when an officer and their vehicle suddenly come out of nowhere if they find a driver speeding. These traps increase exponentially around the holidays due to the high amount of motor vehicle fatalities that occur around this time. They can pull a driver over if they find them going 10 mph over the speed limit. They can also pull over a driver and test them for DUI if they find them going far slower than the speed limit. Given how many drivers slow down to avoid icy hazards or to figure out directions to their destination, this could be problematic.
It does not help that an incident in Delaware County earlier this year demonstrated how inaccurate an officer’s speed-measuring device can be. An older driver was nearly ticketed for speeding only to find out the officer’s radar was measuring 10 mph faster than what the motorist was actually driving at. If faulty equipment is used during the holiday months, dozens could be receiving tickets or DUI charges for miscalculations.
No time is safe
Officers cover areas for the entire days surrounding Christmas and Thanksgiving. This proves to be problematic for the driver no matter what time of the day they choose to go out on the road. If you go too early, you could risk driving while drowsy and the lack of surrounding cars can make you an easier target. If you go in the late morning or early afternoon, the traffic will be unbearable. If you go later at night when less people are on the road, that is when officers are on the lookout even when it is not a holiday. It is nearly impossible to avoid an officer’s eyesight during these weeks.
While heavy police enforcement is great for decreasing drunk driving fatalities during the holidays, it can lead to several unfair arrests of people not guilty for DUI or committing a major traffic violation. If your holiday is ruined thanks to an officer’s mistake, a criminal defense attorney can help you avoid the increasingly serious charges associated with DUI.