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Independence Day means drivers aren't free from DWI stops

On the holiday that celebrates the United States' independence, drivers need to keep their wits about them in order to remain free from legal trouble. The state announced that it plans to implement various aggressive law enforcement strategies in order to try to curb drunk driving in Tennessee.

Beginning on July 3, Tennessee police will increase their presence on the roads. Officers plan to target drivers for suspicion of DWI, as well as seat belt violations and to ensure that drivers have valid licenses to drive. The holiday crackdown will run through July 7. To underline how serious the state is about safe roads this week, there will be 96 sobriety checkpoints set up.

This upcoming drunk driving crackdown also aims to promote the state's use of the aggressive no refusal policy. The policy means that drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence are legally expected to submit breath and/or blood tests in a DUI investigation. Many of the planned Tennessee sobriety checkpoints will include officers who are stocked and ready to take blood samples from the DWI suspects.

A driver faced with the threat of a chemical test still has the right to refuse it, despite the name of the "no refusal" policy. If the driver does refuse, however, he would likely lose his driving privileges temporarily. A refusal isn't and should not be used as evidence that a driver is too drunk to drive.

This holiday, drivers should enjoy themselves and celebrate the U.S. and where it came from. Part of what makes this country great is the rights that are granted to its people, including those who are accused of crimes. A DWI defense lawyer is important to protecting those rights.

Source: Examiner, "State announces 96 checkpoints for Independence Day holiday in Tennessee,"David Garrett Jr. July 1, 2013

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