August has come to an end, and, for many, that also means summer is coming to a close. But, before the season is officially over, some people have one last hurrah over Labor Day weekend. Labor Day is a popular time for parties, and it is not unusual for people to have a drink or two over the three-day holiday weekend. As a result, drivers in Virginia may have noticed an increased police presence on the roads recently.
Virginia State Police instituted a campaign known as the "Checkpoint Strike Force Campaign" where 94 sobriety checkpoints were established throughout the state in an effort to apprehend drunk drivers. According to police, DUI accidents are an issue over the Labor Day weekend. Of all the fatal accidents last year during Labor Day involving motorists ages 18 to 34, around 50 percent involved someone who was driving drunk.
This is an issue, as there are significant penalties that accompany a DUI conviction, even for first-time offenders. Someone convicted of DUI may have to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle that will prevent their vehicle from starting if the motorist has even a small amount of alcohol in their system as detected by a breath test. A person convicted of DUI could also be fined as much as $2,500.
With these penalties in mind, people in Virginia should take care when it comes to consuming alcohol during their Labor Day weekend celebrations. Even sober drivers could be stopped at a DUI checkpoint. Therefore, it is important if you are caught at a sobriety checkpoint that the checkpoint is lawful and that any field sobriety tests or breath tests performed are done correctly. If a person is charged with drunk driving but the checkpoint was illegal, the field sobriety test was administered incorrectly, or the breath test was faulty, then the accused will want to explore their criminal defense options.