One of the first traffic laws that people learn is that it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, yet driving under the influence (DUI) charges are some of the most common criminal offenses in Pennsylvania.
Anytime someone gets behind the wheel after having a drink, they are at risk of a traffic stop or of encountering a sobriety checkpoint that leads to their arrest. Police officers on traffic patrol are always on the lookout for signs of impairment, like stopping without a reason or swerving all over the road.
However, there is little question that law enforcement agencies tend to focus enforcement efforts on when they have the greatest chance of success. When are you most likely to encounter police officers looking for drunk drivers?
On holidays and on the weekends around holidays
Major holidays ranging from the 4th of July to Christmas have a strong association with increased drunk driving crashes. In fact, all of the most dangerous days for drunk driving collisions either fall on major holidays or the weekends before or after holidays most years.
Given the statistical risk, holidays and the weekends around them are common times for police departments to establish sobriety checkpoints or send more officers out to patrol for impaired drivers.
When bars close or after special events
Late at night when those who have overindulged at the bar decide to head home is a particularly dangerous time on the roads. Police officers often look more closely for drunk drivers once darkness falls and after bars close.
They may also intentionally patrol nearby when major special events let out. Popular venues and the roads near them often see more drunk driving enforcement efforts, as police know that patrolling on weekend evenings could lead to a successful arrest. Concerts, parties and festivals are also all events that may result in people overindulging in alcohol and then trying to drive home.
Best advice to avoid an arrest: Don’t drive after drinking … get a ride home or have a designated driver.