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On Halloween, that cop costume is probably not a costume

Sure, dressing up like a police officer is a popular choice on Halloween. But there will also be plenty of the real thing out on Wednesday night, looking for potentially drunk drivers. Just like so many other holidays, Halloween means upped DUI enforcement in Tennessee and across the country.

Even though nobody was killed in a Tennessee drunk driving accident last Halloween, the highway patrol still plans on putting patrols all over for this year's holiday festivities. There are just too many kids out on the streets for authorities to resist, and likely too many opportunities to cite and fine people for driving under the influence.

Drivers who plan to party on Halloween should take advantage of any public transit or sober drivers that are available. All it takes is one moment of less-than-perfect judgment to wind up at the center of a DUI investigation and arrest.

Even for those who do not plan to drink or who just drink an insignificant amount of alcohol should drive extremely cautiously during this holiday period. Minor traffic violations give patrols the right to pull a driver over. From there, especially during a holiday, it wouldn't be surprising for a routine traffic stop to turn into a drunk driving investigation.

DUI investigations can feel like a violation of privacy, especially for those who know that they are not above the legal limit. Being put through field sobriety tests on the side of the road for passersby to see can feel humiliating -- especially when someone is in a Halloween getup.

It is easy for a good person to let the system get the best of him. The system is tough on drunk driving and can scare or shame some DUI suspects out of fighting for the truth or the best possible outcome of a stressful situation.

Source: Clarksville, TN Online, "Tennessee Highway Patrol announces Halloween Enforcement," Oct. 26, 2012

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