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Holiday checkpoints gearing up in Arkansas for DWI arrests

Arrests for drunk driving are up in Arkansas from 2013 to 2014. The Arkansas State Police made 5,563 arrests for DWI in 2014, as compared to the 4,343 arrests made in 2013. The figures may or may not divulge a trend. It could be that in certain counties law enforcement authorities stepped up their enforcement activities, and thereby increased the statewide figures over the prior year.

Other similar factors may come into play. These have to do with better detection and stricter enforcement, and may account for the increase in arrests, without indicating any general increase in drunk drivers in the state. A spokesman for a county sheriff's office expressed his belief, however, that people are getting more lax about drunk driving.

The spokesman responded to an interview question by affirming that the statewide checkpoints will be up and waiting to go this holiday season. He indicated that every vehicle will be checked for driver license, registration, insurance coverage and even wearing seat belts. People must understand that they will be arrested if they break the rules.

They have to understand that they will be criminally prosecuted, will pay fines, and will usually lose their license for a specified time, even if it's a first offense. Of course, for second and third offenses the likelihood of a felony prosecution and a term of imprisonment is greatly increased. The amount of the fines imposed also tend to go up exponentially as the number of prior incidents goes up.

In Arkansas and in most other states, the penalties for DWI seem to be increasing on a steady curve from year to year. That includes not just a greater economic toll but also the intensified exposure to prison. Consequently, the task of the DWI defense counsel also becomes more demanding and complex as the trend continues. Because each accused person must be given a vigorous defense and must be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, DWI defense counsel in Arkansas are indispensable for keeping the process fair and even-handed. 

Source: katv.com, "New numbers show amount of DWI arrests increasing", Alexis Rogers, Dec. 17, 2014

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