As we ring in the New Year, many people will be focusing on new resolutions and other positive goals. Some people, however, will start 2020 in a less positive situation – behind bars. New Year’s Eve has more arrests for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI, also known as DUI) than almost any other night of the year. It is important to take steps to prevent an arrest and that you know what to do if you are arrested. In this situation, your first step should be to call a Northwest Indiana OWI defense lawyer.
Law enforcement agencies know that there are more drunk drivers out on the road during the holidays, and especially on New Year’s Eve. They are ready to arrest as many impaired drivers as they can to prevent crashes and injuries. Enforcement of OWI laws is in full force at this time, and you might see the following:
- Sobriety checkpoints, which involve roadblocks so police can stop additional vehicles
- Saturation patrols, which bring more patrol cars out in areas where drunk driving might be more common
These enforcement tools are intended to result in as many arrests as possible. Unfortunately, many officers are so determined to make arrests that they stop drivers without the required reasonable suspicion that they violated the law. It is critical for a defense lawyer to identify when this happens since it can be used as a defense against OWI charges.
OWI Stops and Arrests
When an officer pulls you over, they will certainly be observing you for signs of intoxication. This can include watery eyes, slurred speech, the odor of alcohol, and more. Officers may request that you submit to a breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests, as they are trying to get probable cause to make an OWI arrest.
If you are arrested, the police can place you in handcuffs right then and there on the side of the road. You will likely spend the next several hours in jail, and then, you might be released with a summons. This summons tells you when you need to appear in court for your first hearing for your OWI charges.
How an Attorney Can Help
OWI charges are a serious matter, as a conviction can lead to probation, the suspension of your driver’s license, fines, or even time in jail. You always want to present all possible defenses to fight against a conviction whenever possible, and it is important to have an experienced OWI lawyer helping you. A lawyer can:
- Determine whether officers violated your constitutional rights
- Identify any defects in chemical testing or field sobriety testing
- Negotiate a plea bargain with lesser penalties
- Fight against your charges at trial when needed
Contact a Northwest Indiana OWI Defense Attorney Today
The legal team at Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock hopes that you have an enjoyable New Year’s without any arrests or legal issues. If you or someone you know is arrested, however, do not hesitate to seek our help. Contact us to discuss your arrest and charges today.