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Virginia drivers: Beware of increased DUI patrols this weekend

If you are like many other Virginians, you likely have some plans to relax and spend time with loved ones over the Memorial Day weekend. And chances are, these plans involve alcohol to some extent. It is very common for people to enjoy beers at a picnic or barbecue or cocktails at a party during this time of year, and police know this.

The fact that drinking may be more common during extended holiday weekends is something that authorities and safety advocates have known for quite some time. In response, efforts to enforce drinking and DUI laws during these periods are often increased. This Memorial Day weekend is no different: Virginia police have announced a crackdown on DUI enforcement and the implementation of the "No Refusal" program. It is crucial that drivers in this state appreciate how these efforts can impact their lives.

To begin with, the fact that there will be more patrols on the road means that officers will be encouraged to make more stops for suspicion of DUI. If you have had a few drinks and may have otherwise gone unnoticed by police, you may not be so lucky when there are more officers tasked with paying closer attention to signs of intoxication.

Additionally, in accordance with the "No Refusal" program, officers will be able and motivated to seek a search warrant to obtain a blood sample if a driver refuses to submit to chemical tests. When these programs are in place, those who can secure and sign warrants know that they need to be prepared to respond as quickly as possible to these requests.

What readers should take away from this post is that the chances of getting stopped and arrested for drunk driving may be higher than usual in Virginia this weekend. Drivers should always avoid driving while intoxicated, but if you make a mistake and end up facing DUI charges, it is crucial that you remember you have the right to speak with an attorney and defend yourself against the allegations.

Source: WDBJ, "Law enforcement on high alert for Memorial Day holiday weekend," Nadine Maeser, May 20, 2015

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