As people in Illinois get ready to celebrate Independence Day, it is important for them to be aware that DUI enforcement will be stepped up through that date. Recently, the Oak Lawn Police Department said it started its increased DUI patrols on June 24.

Officers are looking for individuals who are driving under the influence as well as people who are not wearing seat belts. A spokesperson for the department said that the officers will be using a zero-tolerance approach for their DUI stops. Younger drivers are likelier to drive drunk during the 4th of July holiday. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 58 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who die in accidents during the 4th of July holiday are intoxicated.

In addition to the drivers, people who over serve guests at parties and then let the guests drive home may also face both criminal and civil prosecution. It is a good idea for people who plan to drink to get a designated driver or use Uber, Lyft or a taxi service.

If a person is stopped and charged with drunk driving over the holiday, he or she may want to contact a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced with defending against DUI charges. A lawyer may be able to spot problems with the manner in which the stop was conducted. The attorney may also challenge the manner in which any testing was performed by filing evidentiary motions. If the attorney is successful and the evidence is suppressed, the charges may be dismissed. In other cases, a lawyer might be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge.

Source: Oak Lawn Patch, “Oak Lawn cops ramp up DUI patrols through July 4,” Lorraine Swanson, June 23, 2016