February 21, 2024
When holidays come around, Colorado law enforcement officials tend to be out in full force looking for impaired drivers.
This year, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Halloween Heat Is On campaign lasted for a whole week, starting on Friday, October 27, and ending on Thursday, November 2. The campaign hoped to “eliminate impaired driving related injuries and fatalities over Halloween weekend” by setting up DWI – driving while intoxicated – checkpoints as well as increasing and saturating patrols.
Chief of the Colorado State Patrol Col. Scott Hernandez said, “We are urging Coloradans to consume responsibly this weekend. There will be more pedestrians out on Halloween evening, so we’re asking motorists to drive alert and without distractions.”
From 2011 to 2015, almost half of all Halloween traffic fatalities were the result of a drunk driving related accident. Almost 25 percent of Halloween pedestrian fatalities also involved a drunk driver.
Last year, our state’s Halloween DWI enforcement resulted in 296 arrests, with a majority of arrests coming the Colorado State Patrol and both the Denver and Aurora Police Departments.
Let’s look at how you should act if you find yourself being pulled over for a DWI in the future, and what you should do if you got caught in this Halloween’s DWI sweep.
What Should I Do If I’m Pulled Over for a DWI in Colorado?
Regardless of whether you’re pulled over on suspicion of a DWI during an enforcement period or not, you should know your rights and how to act in this stressful and often scary situation. So follow these three tips if a cop signals you to pull over.
Be polite and respectful. If you act any way other than politely or respectfully, you will not only put the police officer on edge, but you also won’t be helping your case. Be cooperative and don’t curse, yell, misbehave, run, or disobey orders – even if you’re innocent.
Be compliant…to a point. While you want to be compliant with an officer’s orders and requests, you also don’t want to incriminate yourself or give more information than necessary. For that reason, remember you can invoke the 5th Amendment, which is your right to remain silent about anything that might be incriminating. Also, make sure you answer the officer’s questions but keep the details – where you were, who you were with, how many drinks you had – to yourself.
Remain calm. Even if you follow these tips, you might still end up getting arrested, but don’t lose your cool and get irate now. Stay calm. Remember, you have rights when you’re being arrested.
As mentioned above, you have the right to remain silent, because anything you say can be used against you in court. Additionally, you have the right to a lawyer. So even though you might want to fight back while you’re getting arrested, you should save it for the courtroom where you can fight for justice the right way.
What Should I Do If I Was Arrested for a DWI This Halloween?
If you were caught in the Halloween DWI enforcement, the first thing you should do is reach out to an experienced Colorado DWI attorney. A knowledgeable criminal lawyer will be able to listen to the facts of your case and determine the best defense strategy to get you the best possible outcome with the least amount of consequences.
Don’t let a Halloween DWI spook you, contact a skilled attorney today to have the best chance of beating your charges.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.