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Chattanooga traffic safety likely means more DUI stops

This week the Chattanooga Police Department has announced that it will be increasing traffic enforcement for the rest of this year and into 2015. The department has received a grant from Governor's Highway Safety Office with a goal of improving traffic safety by reducing the number of serious crashes, traffic deaths and DUI offenders.

This will allow the CPD to have increased patrol coverage throughout Chattanooga, and they will be focusing on DUI offenses and other alcohol violations, such as underage DUI and open container violations. The police officers will also look for other safety violations, like speeding and texting. 

The grant provides $100,000 to fund these officers' shifts throughout the week, and the four-hour shifts will be "flexed" to allow for constant coverage.

While improving traffic safety is always a laudable goal, one concern that follows these types of grant-funded activities by police is that they may be under pressure to deliver "results."

While showing fewer fatalities occurred may be enough, we suspect that they may have quotas that they need to achieve, and that could mean some traffic stops and arrests may skirt the line of what is constitutional.

You are always at risk during a police stop. No matter how minor a stop may appear, serious consequences can follow, from fines and increased insurance premiums, to loss of driving privileges and incarceration.

During a traffic stop or arrest, many people believe if they attempt to explain their side of the situation, that they can talk their way out of a DUI or other charge. By speaking to the police, you only increase the likelihood that you will be charged with a more serious offense.

Traffic safety is important, but so is your liberty. 

Source: Timesfreepress.com, "Chattanooga police get major grant to beef up traffic enforcement," April 15, 2014

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