You may need more than the luck of the Irish to get home safely on St. Patrick's Day. It's one of the biggest nights of the year for drinking, and that means there will be a lot of impaired drivers on the roadways Tuesday -- and also this weekend.
The holiday season is a time when people have a lot going on, from workplace events to neighborhood get-togethers and family parties. Alcohol is ubiquitous, and some people will indulge too much before driving.
Suppose you've been drinking and had been planning to drive. Realizing you're too intoxicated to do so safely, you decide to avoid driving and sleep it off in your car. To keep warm, you start the engine, but you don't have any plans to drive. While you're asleep, the police notice you. Can they arrest you for OWI just for being in the car while intoxicated?
When an officer pulls over a driver, he or she must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a crime. If the officer violates this standard, the traffic stop may not hold up in court, even if the stop resulted in criminal charges, like a DUI. Similarly, in order to justify arresting a driver, an officer must assess enough evidence to reasonably claim the driver committed a crime.
Now that we're into the month of October, it's safe to say that the holiday season is just about in full swing.