The summer holidays may inspire sobriety checkpoints

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | DUI Checkpoints

Summer in South Carolina means barbecues, beach trips and family reunions. Summer means time away from school for children and more social opportunities for adults. This increased travel, tourism and pursuit of pleasure also means a likely uptick in certain types of law enforcement activity during the summer months.

When the summer holidays start approaching, police departments in South Carolina may begin the process of getting permission for sobriety checkpoints. Also called driving under the influence (DUI) roadblocks, sobriety checkpoints are mass enforcement efforts that allow police officers to screen dozens or hundreds of people at a single point in a few hours. An increase in enforcement activity is common in the summer months, and police departments might specifically plan checkpoints for the weekends immediately before or after the big summer holidays.

The summer features more drunk driving crashes

Overall, the summer sees the highest percentage of drunk driving crashes out of every season. A review of crash data indicates that 28% of the annual fatalities related to intoxication at the wheel occur during the summer months. A significant portion of those collisions will occur on or directly around the summer holidays. The Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day typically all see a noticeable increase in the drunk driving crashes and fatalities that occur. The statistical correlation between summer holidays and increased drunk driving is well known.

Therefore, police departments in South Carolina hoping to deter and prosecute drunk drivers may target the weekends around summer holidays in particular because of the greater likelihood of impaired motorists on the road. They may also conduct checkpoints on weekends in the evening or after major events, like college football games, when many people may have had too much to drink. The problem with mass enforcement efforts is that police officers tend to find the kinds of crimes they look for because they reach inaccurate conclusions. Those arrested at a sobriety checkpoint may have multiple options for mounting a defense with the help of a lawyer in response to their pending charges.

Avoiding or successfully fighting back against DUI charges in South Carolina typically requires that someone understands the trends and motivations in impaired driving enforcement efforts. Seeking legal guidance proactively is a good way to achieve this clarity.

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