Today begins the three-day holiday weekend leading up to Labor Day. If you are among the many workers in North Carolina enjoying an extra day off, please take advantage of the beautiful weather as you mark the unofficial end of summer.

But as you celebrate this weekend, remember to do so responsibly. Summer holidays are often celebrated with alcohol, and that means an increase in drunk driving arrests and crashes. In the past couple weeks, news outlets have been publishing articles notifying all drivers in North Carolina that law enforcement will be ramping up patrols to catch drivers who are impaired, speeding, distracted or otherwise driving dangerously.

Of all these behaviors, however, drunk driving will be the primary focus. During the week leading up to Labor Day in 2019, impaired-driving accidents in North Carolina led to 600 injuries and 10 deaths. Law enforcement will be utilizing “high-visibility saturation patrols across all 100 counties” in the state.

There is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying some alcohol this weekend as long as you plan ahead to ensure a safe ride home. If possible, avoid driving by taking a taxi, bus, rideshare service or getting a ride from a sober friend. If you need to drive yourself, please moderate your drinking and ensure that you are sober enough to drive before getting behind the wheel.

Law enforcement agencies will be cracking down hard this weekend on anything that could potentially be drunk driving. It is reasonable to assume, then, that some drivers could be wrongfully arrested and charged with DUI. If you find yourself facing criminal charges once the weekend has ended, please seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as reasonably possible.