There has been a substantial increase in Tennessee DUI arrests this year. Despite more drunk driving arrests, however, there has been a rise in traffic fatalities in the state.
During the first nine months of 2012 the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) made 4,349 DUI arrests across the state. This represents an almost 25 percent increase from the 3,487 arrests made during the same period in 2011.
It appears this increase in drunk driving arrests has not made Tennessee roads much safer. So far in 2012 there have been 765 fatalities on Tennessee roadways compared to 728 at this time in 2011. This may lead some to question whether law enforcement should be concentrating their efforts in other areas like distracted driving or drowsy driving which have also been shown to lead to fatal motor vehicle accidents.
With increasing numbers of Tennessee motorists being arrested for DUIs it is important that individuals are aware of their rights during a stop. For instance motorists do not have to consent to take field sobriety tests and that they have a right to an independent blood test. Additionally, motorists should be aware that they are likely being videotaped during the stop.
Those charged with DUI face the possibility of stiff penalties including fines, jail time and the revocation of their driver’s license. This makes the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney valuable. A lawyer can challenge the validity of the stop, the reliability of blood tests and many other aspects of the case against you.
Source: 10 WBIR, “TN roadway fatality numbers continue to climb,” Jennifer Meckles, October 5, 2012
For more information please see our Tennessee DUI defense page.