Many people equate New Year's Eve and other major holidays with drinking and driving. Police often issue warnings of increased patrols, and local campaigns advertising against drunk driving are virtually everywhere. This year, however, Powell Bail Bonding in New Hanover County said they didn't get much traffic on New Year's.
An employee of the bail bonding company said that despite increased police presence, there are often not as many arrests as might be expected. In fact, he said other winter holidays, like Christmas, often net more arrests than New Year's. He added that the summertime is often when they see the most DWI arrests.
In fact, the statistics from the weekend may surprise some. Only 29 people were booked at the New Hanover County Detention Center between Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Less than half of those were DWI-related. The Sheriff's Offices said the numbers were significantly lower than they had predicted.
The manager of the bail bonding company believes Wilmington residents and drivers throughout New Hanover County have become more cautious about getting behind the wheel after drinking. While this may very well be true, there were still 14 people booked in the county detention center for DWI on New Year's.
Those 14 people are likely facing several penalties if they are found guilty. They could lose their licenses, be required to take alcohol classes or potentially go to jail. It's important to realize that each DWI case is different, and not everyone accused of a crime is guilty. For these 14 people, understanding their rights will be imperative as their cases move forward.
Source: WWAY, "DWI's 'not prevalent' this New Year's says local bail bonding company," Cliff Pyron, Jan. 1, 2012