Wake County Criminal Defense Attorney Says St. Patrick’s Day Increases Risk of DWI Arrest, Traffic Tickets

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David Coolidge of The Coolidge Law Firm in Raleigh urges North Carolina motorists to drive responsibly during the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day period.

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Wake County criminal defense attorney David A. Coolidge

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself on St. Patrick’s Day by going out to a party or a local bar. But don’t push your luck. North Carolina takes drinking and driving seriously.

Wake County criminal defense attorney David Coolidge today warned drivers, especially local college students, to expect dedicated patrols and sobriety checkpoints during the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself on St. Patrick’s Day by going out to a party or a local bar. But don’t push your luck,” Coolidge said. “North Carolina takes drinking and driving seriously. At this time of year, they will step up patrols. They’re out to catch drunk drivers. So, we encourage everyone to make safe and smart decisions.”

Coolidge is the founder of The Coolidge Law Firm. The firm’s Wake County criminal defense lawyers represent clients charged with drunk driving (DUI / DWI) and other traffic offenses in Raleigh and surrounding areas, including students from N.C. State, UNC and Duke.

The Raleigh DWI defense lawyer said that law enforcement drunk driving crackdowns give drivers an added incentive to drive safely on St. Patrick’s Day. No one, he said, wants to face criminal charges and the risk of hefty fines, losing their license and possible jail time.

Coolidge pointed to last year's St. Patrick’s Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program reported that state and local law enforcement officers conducted 2,618 sobriety checkpoints and dedicated patrols during a period from March 11-17.

The campaign netted a total of 32,579 traffic and criminal citations statewide. The total included 1,013 DWI charges. Out of that number, 123 charges involved drivers under age 21. Wake County had 94 DWI citations, the second highest number in the state.

“Drunk driving is the main focus of these patrols,” Coolidge said. “But even if you’re not charged with drinking and driving, you may face a traffic ticket or other citation as a result of the increased police presence on the roads.”

He cited the N.C. Department of Transportation’s 2011 St. Patrick’s Day statistics. Officers charged 815 motorists for speeding in Wake County and 160 with driving while license revoked (DWLR). The officers wrote another 148 tickets for seat belt and child safety seat violations.

“Even if it seems like it’s a minor offense, it could have serious consequences if you are convicted,” Coolidge said. “For instance, a speeding ticket can add points to your insurance record and cause your premiums to skyrocket. So, you have to treat it seriously.”

A person charged with DWI or any other traffic offense should seek skilled, experienced and aggressive legal help, Coolidge said. An attorney can protect one’s rights and work hard to obtain the best possible outcome, he said.

Coolidge’s law firm focuses on DWI defense and traffic ticket cases. This focus has allowed the firm’ to develop a deep knowledge of the law and procedures that apply to drunk-driving and traffic violations, he said. The firm is well-versed in negotiating pleas and taking cases to trial.

“Just because a driver has been arrested or ticketed doesn’t mean they’re guilty or will get the worst possible outcome,” Coolidge said. “We review every case thoroughly. We explore all possible defenses and options. And we work closely with clients to develop the best strategy.”

About The Coolidge Law Firm

The Wake County criminal defense attorneys of The Coolidge Law Firm represents drivers charged with DWI / DUI, including drivers under age 21, and other traffic offenses. The firm’s traffic ticket practice includes speeding, driving while license revoked (DWLR), safety belt violations, child passenger seat violations, reckless driving, uninsured motorist charges and other misdemeanors and infractions. The Coolidge Law Firm helps clients throughout Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Morrisville, Knightdale and other communities in Wake County and its surrounding area. To learn more about The Coolidge Law Firm, call (919) 239-8448 any time of day, any day of the week or use the firm’s online form.

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