After the 4th of July, many of us wake up to the sight of charred cardboard from fireworks on the street, a stray bottle rocket stick, or maybe a couple of empty cans leftover from the night before. Unfortunately, others wake up the morning after the 4th of July in jail with the possibility of criminal charges hanging over their head.
Independence Day is a busy time for police making drunk driving arrests in Missouri and across the country. If you or a loved one was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Raymore or Cass County, talk to an experienced Missouri DWI defense lawyer to make sure a one-time mistake does not cost you your license.
Increased Highway Patrols Over 4th of July Weekend
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Fourth of July holiday weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends for alcohol-related crashes. Patrol Lieutenant Collin Stosberg says 220 people were injured in traffic accidents over the 2018 July 4th period and 4 people were killed.
According to a survey by Niznik Behavioral Health, Missouri is the deadliest state for alcohol-related accidents over the holiday. Missouri reportedly had the highest number of fatalities, followed by South Carolina. New Hampshire had the fewest crash fatalities.
As a result of the increased rate of drinking and driving over the holiday, law enforcement have stepped up patrols on the lookout for impaired drivers. Some areas are conducting saturation patrols to look for drivers who may have had too much to drink. When the police or troopers suspect a driver is under the influence, that driver is likely to end up under arrest and in jail.
Signs of Impaired Driving and What Police Look For
Law enforcement may only need to see a minor traffic violation to make a traffic stop. Swerving, crossing over into other lanes, and delayed braking or turning may be signs of impairment. However, the police may use minor traffic violations to stop a driver, including driving without headlights on, rolling through a stop sign, or even littering from the vehicle.
During the traffic stop, the police have the opportunity to look for signs of impairment. Signs of alcohol or drug impairment may include:
- Smell of alcohol,
- Cans or bottles inside the vehicle,
- Smell of marijuana,
- Slurred speech,
- Bloodshot or watery eyes, or
- Erratic movement.
Penalties for a First-Time DWI in Cass County
The penalties for a DWI in Missouri can be harsh, even for a first offense. Drivers who are convicted of a DWI can face:
- Suspended driver's license
The good news is that drivers convicted of a first-time DWI in Missouri do not have to have that blemish on their record forever. In many cases, a single DUI/DWI charge can be expunged. Having a DWI expunged from your record means that the charge will be erased from your criminal record. If an employer or rental agency searches your criminal record, the DWI charge will not appear. Talk to your Raymore DWI defense lawyer if you have any questions about criminal charges and expunging your record.
Consult an Experienced Missouri DUI/DWI Lawyer
If you face a first-time DWI in Missouri after the 4th of July, there are defenses that can be raised to protect your constitutional rights so you can keep your license. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today by calling (816) 331-9968 or fill out our online form.