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Drunk driving charges might have spiked during Labor Day patrols

Holiday weekends are usually times for friends and loved ones to gather together, but excessive police patrols can sometimes throw a wrench in these types of plans. Illinois police implemented special patrols over the Labor Day weekend in hopes of spotting potentially impaired drivers. Unfortunately, police are only human, and no matter how well-intentioned these patrols might be, some drunk driving charges are not always appropriate.

The Labor Day patrols put officers on the road mainly late at night, with one patrol starting at about 9 p.m. and running until 6 a.m. Officers were not only looking for signs of inebriated drivers, but also for those who might have been violating other rules of the road, such as failing to wear a seatbelt. However, it is possible that having officers on the lookout for certain signs from drivers might cause them to perceive that such behavior is happening, even when it is not.

Sobriety checkpoints were also set up in addition to the special patrols. These checkpoints can be an understandable source of anxiety for even the most experienced driver, as individuals might be subjected to field sobriety tests, intense questioning and even Breathalyzer tests. Police often take advantage of these checkpoints to also look for other violations or to see if a driver is behind the wheel with a revoked or suspended driver's license.

It is perhaps impossible to downplay the impact that a drunk driving conviction can have on a person's life. For many, reliable access to their vehicle helps them maintain their employability. Because of this, it is prudent for those accused of driving drunk to act in a timely manner. An administrative hearing -- which is separate from a court appearance to fight the charges -- can sometimes help Illinois drivers retain their driving privileges. 

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Lake County DUI patrols started this week and go through Labor Day holiday", Frank S. Abderholden, Aug. 29, 2017

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