Why You Need a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney During the Holidays

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Are breath test results always accurate?”


If you were pulled over during a DUI stop anywhere between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend, and police officers suspect that you are intoxicated, it can be quite difficult to prove them wrong.

Empty-beer-glass-Charlotte-Mooresville-Monroe-DWI-DUI-Lawyer-300x225That is because the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve sees the highest number of DUI and driving while impaired (DWI) arrests in North Carolina and all across the U.S. In fact, Thanksgiving Eve is commonly referred to as “Black Wednesday,” as it is the busiest night of the year for most bars in Charlotte and elsewhere in North Carolina.

Because of this, law enforcement is out in full force during holiday travel. As reported by WBTV, troopers were placed every 20 miles along I-40 in Charlotte during Thanksgiving travel to help keep everyone safe and prevent DUI-related crashes. The report shows that there were 3,805 crashes in North Carolina during the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday period.

If you were stopped by law enforcement during holiday travel and are facing DUI or DWI charges, speak with a Charlotte criminal defense attorney.


More DUI Arrests During the Holidays

During the holidays, the number of drivers on our roads peaks as people come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Naturally, all those holiday parties and family gatherings, where lots of alcohol is consumed, result in more drunk drivers on our roads.

That is the reason why North Carolina State Highway Patrol is placing troopers every 20 miles along I-40 during holiday travel. The efforts to curb drunk driving in Charlotte are part of the so-called Thanksgiving 1-40 Challenge, which kicked off on November 21. The challenge is a joint operation that includes seven other states along the 1-40 corridor.

Subsequently, it is also no coincidence that the number of people looking for a DUI criminal defense lawyer increases during the holiday season to help them fight a DUI.


More Alcohol-Impaired Drivers on Charlotte Roads

According to BACtrack, social binge drinking – consuming a high volume of alcohol in a short period of time – is common during the holiday season. An estimated more than 40% of driving while impaired (DWI)-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s Eve involve intoxicated motorists, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

As shown in the infographic compiled by Sobering Up, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, about half of all Americans say that alcohol plays a role in their family’s holiday gatherings.


DUI/DWI Defenses in North Carolina

Just because you were pulled over by a trooper on I-40 during a DUI stop does not mean that you will be charged with a DWI, even if you did consume alcohol during a holiday party or family gathering.

There are quite a few DWI defenses in North Carolina that you can use. A Charlotte criminal defense attorney can help identify the most optimal defense strategy for your circumstances. Some of the options are:

  • The absence of reasonable articulable suspicion (there was no probable cause to arrest you)
  • Inaccurate field sobriety tests (the arresting police officer failed to adhere to standards when performing the walk-and-turn test, the one-leg stand, or the HGN test)
  • Incorrect breath test (a breathalyzer test does not measure the amount of alcohol in your blood; all it does is measure the number of ketones in your breath)
  • Improper administration of a blood test (a blood sample must be handled and stored correctly to show accurate results)
  • You were not driving the vehicle at the time of the DUI stop (e.g., you were just sitting in the car with the key in the ignition)

Read more about common mistakes North Carolina officers and law enforcement make during DWI arrests.

Contact our criminal defense lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to pick the most effective strategy in your situation. Call our Charlotte offices at 704-370-2828 to identify the most reasonable defense strategy today. If you find yourself facing alcohol related charges and need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.








The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.








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