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Tennessee DUI Checkpoints Being Used for Research

Yesterday, Tennessee law enforcement held police checkpoints across the state. The DUI checkpoints were not targeted at enforcement, but were mainly being used for research. The Tennessee Department of Safety wanted to see if its awareness campaign, aimed at reducing motor vehicle accidents, has had any impact on the state's drivers.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation's "Click it or Ticket" campaign encouraged seat belt use among motorists. Additionally, interstate signs showing the number of auto accident fatalities in the state have been displayed to remind drivers of the consequences of unsafe driving. The Tennessee DUI checkpoints cost taxpayers an estimated $200,000.

What to Do if You are Stopped at a Tennessee DUI Checkpoint

If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint there are several things you should be aware of. First, be conscious of the fact that you may be videotaped or recorded at the checkpoint. Also, know that you may refuse to take standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs). An officer's determination of an individual's performance on SFSTs is subjective and may be challenged by an attorney.

The implied consent law requires drivers placed under arrest for DUI to submit to a breath or blood test or face license suspension. However, the validity of these tests may be challenged, and you do have the right to request an independent blood test.

An attorney can provide further information about potential DUI defenses. A lawyer can also advise you of your options and advocate on your behalf to help ensure your rights are protected.

Source: WREG, "TN Law Enforcement Plan DUI Checkpoints for Research," Adam Hammond, May 24, 2012.

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