Why drivers see increased drunk driving enforcement in summer

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Summer is the season of family vacations, community festivals and neighborhood barbecues. People have reasons to celebrate and often make regular efforts to get out and enjoy the warm weather. With more traffic on the roads and more social events occurring, more people find themselves in scenarios where they could get behind the wheel after having too much to drink.

Not only will individual motorists often find themselves with more opportunities to overindulge, but they will also experience an increased risk of encountering a police officer if they try to drive home in an inebriated state. Why are there typically more police officers looking for drunk drivers during the summer months?

The summer experiences a noticeable increase in drunk driving collisions

People can and do drive drunk any day of the year, but there may be more opportunities for people to drink at social gatherings and public places during the summer months. Whether someone has one round of beers too many at a baseball game or cocktails of unknown strength at a barbecue, they may feel as though they have no choice but to drive home.

Statistically, there are more drunk driving fatalities in the summer months than during the other seasons of the year. Given that each season represents a quarter of the year, it should see 25% of the year’s fatal drunk driving crashes. However, researchers have found that the summer months are when 28% of drunk driving crashes happen. The spring months are when 26% of annual drunk driving crashes occur, while the fall is when another 25% occur. The remaining 21% happened during the winter months.

The combination of increased seasonal risk based on annual fatalities and the numerous special events during the summer months typically leads to increased law enforcement presence on the roads to both catch and deter drunk drivers. Motorists pulled over during the summer may face more rigorous screening and have to interact with officers specifically looking for signs of intoxication, which may skew their perception of the circumstances.

Motorists arrested for impaired driving offenses during the summer typically have options for fighting their pending charges based on the circumstances that led to their arrest. Defending against impaired driving charges with the assistance of a legal professional is typically the only way for someone to avoid significant criminal penalties like incarceration and license suspension in the event that they have been charged with an impaired driving offense.