Last week the Missouri Highway Patrol announced that drunken driving arrests over the Christmas holiday more than doubled this year compared to 2011. Officials say the long weekend may have been a contributing factor.
Between 6:00 p.m. Dec. 21 and 11:59 p.m. on Christmas day, Missouri troopers arrested 130 people for driving while intoxicated. Last year the holiday weekend saw only 56 DWI arrests.
42 of the arrests were made by Troop C, which covers the St. Louis metro area. That only includes highway patrol arrests, however, and not arrests made my municipal police officers.
This year's "holiday weekend" was two days longer than last year's because Christmas fell on a Tuesday. In addition, stepped-up enforcement contributed to the large number of arrests. Troopers were on the road all weekend conducting DWI checkpoints and saturation patrols.
Constitutional protections exist to make sure that people suspected of impaired driving are treated fairly in any proceedings. For example, police officers are required to notify the public of DWI checkpoints before conducting them and must respect civil and criminal rights guaranteed to all Americans.
In addition to DWI arrests, the MHP keeps track of accidents and fatalities over the holiday weekend as well. They investigated 239 motor vehicle crashes, which included 91 injuries and two fatalities.
If you are facing accusations or charges of driving while intoxicated, it is important to act quickly to ensure that your rights are protected and you get the best possible outcome in your case. Contact a criminal defense attorney with experience in DWI matters, who can advise you of your rights, build a strong defense and fight any charges.
Source: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Longer holiday weekend leads to jump in Missouri DWI arrests," Susan Welch, Dec. 27, 2013
Our firm handles a wide range of DWI defense matters, from first-time allegations to felony charges, including vehicular homicide. To learn more, please visit our St. Louis DWI page.