Despite having less financial resources for enforcement, the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) and Metro police have significantly increased the amount of people arrested for DUI. So far this year, Metro police have arrested 918 individuals for DUI compared to 632 during the same period in 2011.
The increase in Tennessee DUI arrests is occurring even though each night there are about 20-30 fewer police officers on patrol for impaired drivers. The budget used to pay for extra-duty officers was slashed from one million to $399,000.
Even though funds for enforcement were decreased, DUIs have remained a priority for law enforcement agencies. The THP has adjusted the schedules and locations of troopers' patrols to allow for more focus on arresting impaired drivers.
Metro police have doubled the DUI squad which does patrols for drunken drivers and helps staff DUI checkpoints. The squad has increased DUI arrests by 96 percent so far in 2012, compared to the same time frame last year.
With increasing amounts of people being stopped on suspicion of DUI it is important that Tennessee drivers know their rights. Be aware that you do not have to consent to field sobriety tests, and that you have the right to an independent blood test. Additionally, be conscious of the fact that during the stop you may be videotaped or recorded.
Police are responsible for following a variety of procedures during a DUI stop. If you currently face DUI charges, an experienced DUI attorney can provide further guidance about your rights and possible defenses.
Source: The Tennessean, "DUI arrests soar in Nashville," Brain Haas, Mar. 31, 2012.