The New Hampshire State Police recently announced the driving under the influence statistics for the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The enforcement period began Wednesday November 21 and ended on Sunday November 25.
New Hampshire state troopers maintained a highly visible presence in an effort to prevent both DWI accidents and arrests. The State Police presence was also heavily advertised, in the hopes that it would encourage drivers to avoid drinking and driving. In fact, the State Police admitted that the goal each year is to have zero alcohol-related arrests during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Unfortunately, the goal of zero arrests will have to wait until next year.
The State Police assigned specially trained troopers throughout the state, to use their skills to detect drunk driving. The New Hampshire State Police stopped 3,914 vehicles, including 1,009 citations for speeding and 2,251 warnings. They also issued 117 citations for hazardous violations and 29 for driving under suspension.
Fortunately, this year the State Police also reported that there were no fatal traffic accidents in the state, whether related to alcohol or not. However, the presence of the specially trained state police officers resulted in a total of 31 DWI arrests in New Hampshire.
State Police troopers looked for swerving, erratic speeds and failure to use turn signals. Once pulled over, troopers often observed the driver for slurred speech, watery eyes, blood shot eyes and other signs of intoxication.
Unfortunately, a greater number of drivers are pulled over and arrested for DWI during holidays when compared to other times of year. Most likely the reason for the increase in arrests is related to the large number of people returning to their hometowns and catching up with old friends at the bars and other holiday parties. In the cloud of nostalgia, it can be easy to lose count of the number of drinks consumed or your level of intoxication.
When out drinking with friends, if you cannot find a designated driver or a place to sleep within walking distance, your best option is to call a cab, even if you think that you are able to drive. Alcohol affects your ability to make reasoned judgments, and as such, ironically affects your ability to determine how much the alcohol has affected your reflexes and driving ability.
While driving under the influence should be avoided at all costs, if you have been arrested for a NH DWI, you need an experienced attorney at your side. An arrest for driving while intoxicated can be challenged on a number of different fronts by reviewing the facts to make sure that the police had probable cause for pulling you over and make sure that any testing to determine your blood alcohol content was administered properly. Only an attorney with extensive experience handling alcohol-related cases will be able to ensure that your rights are protected, to prevent or limit any loss of driving privileges, fines and jail time.