Expect Increased DUI Patrols in Knoxville This Summer
May 27, 2014
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will be out in full force this summer cracking down on motorists who are driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs. They will conduct a number of enforcement programs in an effort to get drunk drivers off the roadway. For example, the THP announced “No Refusal” enforcement in certain counties. During this time, they will utilize their right to obtain blood samples from drivers who refuse breath tests. The THP will also conduct sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols statewide throughout the summer.
State Troopers arrested 113 drivers on suspicion of DUI during Memorial Day weekend in 2013. The holiday weekend is not the only time that officers will be out in force, and it certainly isn’t the only weekend during the summer that there will be a significant number of drunk drivers on the roadway. There were 321 people killed between the weekends of Memorial Day and Labor Day last year and many of those deaths resulted from impaired driving. Tennessee drivers can expect law enforcement officers to do everything possible to reduce that number this year.
The best way you can avoid a DUI this summer is to use a designated driver or to call a taxi if you have been drinking. When you are behind the wheel, avoid high traffic areas near bars where officers will be searching for any reason to pull you over. You may want to avoid areas where there will be DUI checkpoints as well. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is legally required to post when and where they will set up checkpoints. So, it would be a good idea to search their official site before going out.
If you are pulled over, remember that you have the right to not answer any questions about whether or not you’ve been drinking. You also have the right to refuse to take field sobriety and breath tests. However, if you are in an area where they are enforcing “No Refusal,” such as in Sevier, McMinn, Rutherford, Shelby, Washington, Cumberland, Weakley and Giles counties, you will be required to take a blood test after you refuse a breath test.
If you are arrested, you have rights. You can fight the charges and you can speak to an attorney before answering any questions. It is important that you take your situation seriously because the penalties for a DUI conviction are quite severe. Even first-time offenders can face can face up to one year in jail, a yearlong license revocation, and a fine of up to $1,500. Please drive safely this summer and if you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, contact an experienced Knoxville DUI defense lawyer who can help protect your rights and fight the charges.