According to the National Safety Council, about 450 people die on US roads over the Labor Day holiday each year. 41% of these fatalities involve an alcohol-impaired driver. But why is Labor Day such a dangerous weekend for driving? What is it about this holiday that leads to such a high level of intoxicated driving? Perhaps most importantly, what should you do if you have been accused of a DUI over the Labor Day weekend?
Mississippi Highway Patrol Makes 141 DUI Arrests Over Labor Day Weekend
On September 5, it was reported that the Mississippi Highway Patrol had arrested over 140 DUI suspects over the preceding Labor Day Weekend. They also reported four confirmed deaths related to auto crashes. However, this represents a notable decline compared with 2022, when the MHP made over 270 DUI arrests over the Labor Day Weekend. However, there were only three auto deaths that year.
Putting DUIs aside, almost 700 citations were issued over the Labor Day weekend for seatbelt violations alone. 147 total crashes were reported, and just over 9,000 citations were issued altogether. Authorities from other states issued similar reports, and prior to the weekend, there were widespread warnings about driving safety.
The Core Reasons for Driving Accidents over Labor Day Weekend
Driving accidents over Labor Day Weekend occur for many reasons. However, the simplest explanations are usually the most relevant. There are simply more cars on the road over this weekend period, and this inevitably leads to a higher number of accidents. People typically travel long distances by car over this holiday to spend time with family, visit relatives, or enjoy the last few days of summer in Mississippi’s great outdoors.
People also tend to drink over the Labor Day weekend for similarly obvious reasons. With a few extra days, Mississippi residents have more opportunities to drink. Most workers can go out on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights without having to worry about going to work the next day. In addition, some workers may be returning from summer holidays, and the Labor Day Weekend may represent their last opportunity to let loose before returning to the 9-to-5 daily grind. School teachers and other workers may have spent the entire summer relaxing, and they might be dreading returning to work. The same logic applies to parents, who must once again face the stress of “back-to-school” rituals.
140 DUI Arrests Does Not Mean 140 Convictions
It is worth mentioning that while a headline boasting 140 DUI arrests sounds impressive, the actual number of convictions may be much lower. Many of these defendants will successfully challenge their DUI charges in court with help from criminal defense attorneys in Mississippi. Charges may be dismissed for a whole host of reasons, including insufficient evidence, faulty breathalyzer results, inadequately trained officers, and much more.
In fact, the MHP likely had to meet a certain quota of DUI arrests on this particular weekend. The troopers may have been overzealous in their pursuit of DUI suspects due to these incentives. Some people may have been accused of a DUI despite very little evidence. Unfortunately, media reports that clearly favor the MHP never tell the general public how many of these DUI charges are dismissed at a later date.
How Do I Fight a DUI Charge in Mississippi?
The most appropriate defense strategy for DUI defendants depends on their unique situation. Someone accused of causing a fatal car crash while drunk will have a very different strategy than someone who simply blew a 0.09 after being pulled over on a quiet residential street.
That being said, a number of strategies may prove useful for DUI defendants in Mississippi:
- Showing that the breathalyzer device malfunctioned
- Showing that the breathalyzer device was not properly calibrated
- Showing that the officer or troopers were not properly trained to administer the breathalyzer test
- Showing the officer’s observations of slurred speech or glazed eyes are subjective
- Showing that another negligent party caused the crash
- Showing that the officer made a notable mistake, such as mistaking the driver for someone else or reporting the wrong license plate
Get in Touch With a Qualified DUI Attorney in Mississippi Today
If you are facing DUI charges after Labor Day weekend, it is important to get in touch with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Mississippi as soon as possible. Reach out to Vic Carmody Jr., P.A., at your earliest convenience and get started with an effective defense strategy. With the right approach, it is possible to mitigate legal consequences associated with a DUI, whether you have been involved in a fatal crash or you were simply pulled over by police after driving normally. Remember, internet research only gets you so far, so book your consultation today.