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Halloween weekend is often an enforcement focus for DUIs

There are certain days of the week and times of day when you are more likely to encounter drivers under the influence of alcohol. The weekend, specifically Friday and Saturday nights and early mornings, are often a time when people socialize and use alcohol. The hours after bars close can often see a marked increase in impaired drivers on the road.

There are certain times of the year when drinking is more common, too. Most people already know that the 4th of July and New Year's Eve celebrations often involve excessive drinking, but fewer people think of Halloween as an alcohol-related holiday. That makes sense. After all, Halloween is a child-oriented holiday, with most people thinking of trick-or-treating, not drinking. However, there are a lot of adults out celebrating, too, which means crazy costumes and more impaired drivers on the road.

Pennsylvania police crack down on holiday weekends

In order to push back against an increase in alcohol-related crashes around major holidays, law enforcement often take special steps. That can include drunk driver enforcement efforts, such as roadblocks and more vehicles out on patrol. Thanks to implied consent laws that state that anyone who drives on public roads in Pennsylvania has given consent to chemical testing for impairment, law enforcement can stop and test anyone who gives the slightest indication of impairment on the road.

Last year, law enforcement was out in full force on the weekend before Halloween to catch and arrest as many drunk and drugged drivers as possible. Chances are good that there will be increased enforcement efforts this year as well. Whether police are stopping every vehicle through a checkpoint or just patrolling more, those who choose to get behind the wheel impaired before and on Halloween could face steep penalties for doing so.

DUI charges in Pennsylvania are a serious matter

Driving when under the influence of alcohol, street drugs or certain prescription medication can reduce response time, result in swerving or other irregularities, and potentially put you and everyone else on the road at risk. Those who end up charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania could face very serious penalties, even if this is their first ever criminal offense.

DUI charges carry fines ranging from $300 to $10,000, as well as the loss of your driver's license and the potential for incarceration. Some people may try to avoid implicating themselves when stopped for impaired driving by refusing a chemical test. Doing so can result in loss of a license for a year, and it won't stop the state from pursuing criminal charges related to impaired driving. The police may even interpret your refusal as evidence that you knew you were under the influence. The safest bet is to call a cab or use a Lyft or Uber if you've had a few drinks at your costume party.

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Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler
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Erie, PA 16501

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