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DWI patrols increase during Halloween weekend

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 40 percent of all traffic fatalities during the Halloween weekend involve drunk driving. That is why the Maryland State Police are ramping up their patrols during the upcoming Halloween weekend. From October 26 to October 31, expect to see more patrols on the roads and increased enforcement of Maryland DWI laws and other traffic laws.

Of course, the safest bet is to take a cab or designate a sober driver if you are plan on drinking this Halloween. But what should you do if you are pulled over for drunk driving?

First, do not evade a police officer. Instead, pull over in a safe area. When the officer approaches your car, put your hands on the steering wheel and do not move around excessively in your car. Stay calm and be respectful to the officer. Respect does not mean that you have to answer the officer's questions. In fact, it is probably a good idea to invoke your right to remain silent.

If the police officer asks you to step outside, do not refuse. You do not have to comply with an officer's request to do a field sobriety test, but refusal could lead to your arrest for suspicion of DWI. If you are arrested and brought to the station, you will be asked to take a blood alcohol test (which could be a breath or blood test). While you can refuse to take this test, your driver's license will likely be suspended if you refuse.

Even while at the station, it is important to stay calm and politely invoke your right to remain silent. Your DUI defense lawyer can do the talking for you when it matter most.

A DWI conviction can scar your record and take away your driving privileges. Yet, a DWI stop does not mean that you will be convicted for DWI. If you are pulled over for drunk driving, stay calm and quiet. Then, defend yourself well with the help of an experienced DWI defense lawyer.

Source: The Examiner, "Maryland police to crack down on Halloween drunk driving," Liz Essley, Oct. 23, 2012.

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