The fall is a season of celebration, especially in agricultural communities. Local festivals celebrating the harvest may be the most exciting occurrence each year for the community. Festivals and similar community gatherings help strengthen the bonds between neighbors and also generate revenue as people travel into town to attend or spend more money than usual at local businesses.
Bars and restaurants tend to see a significant uptick in sales on days when there are festivals nearby communities. Unfortunately, some people will inevitably overindulge when celebrating at a festival, which may lead to operating a vehicle while impaired OVI charges. Music festivals have an especially strong association with impaired driving.
When you are on your way home from a festival, your risk of an OVI traffic stop may be higher than usual.
Police are on high alert on festival weekends
Police departments typically have to provide security support for festivals and other cultural events, so local police departments will be well aware of the festivities. The police department likely also knows that there is a significant uptick in drinking and also in drunk driving on festival days.
Your chances of encountering police officers will likely be higher than usual. Departments often specifically increase their OVI enforcement efforts on days near festivals and holidays when people are more likely to drink. Even if you think you can probably drive safely, it is a gamble to get behind the wheel after having a few beers at a festival.
Even if your driving is okay, if you get pulled over, you could end up arrested and facing the stressful complications that OVI charges can create.
Police officers looking for drunk drivers may misinterpret behavior
There could be numerous plausible explanations for someone’s behavior at the wheel, but police officers actively looking for drunk drivers are likely to jump to conclusions regarding the reason someone acts a certain way at the wheel.
Just because you got arrested on a festival or holiday weekend does not necessarily mean that your conviction is inevitable. There could be defense strategies available to you, including presenting an alternate explanation for your behavior or challenging the accuracy of the breath test results.
Knowing when you are at elevated risk of certain criminal charges can help you better protect yourself from the penalties such charges could carry.