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Tennessee police safety measure could mean more DUI arrests

Tennessee safety officials have been working for years to try to reduce the rate of traffic accidents and fatalities in the state. That effort leads law enforcement and government to enact intense efforts to try to identify potentially impaired drivers.

News reports about this issue focus on the safety aspect of the matter, particularly because crash prevention is the argument authorities pose when asked about their use of anti-drunk driving strategies. One such challenged and controversial strategy that police use are DUI checkpoints.

Generally, Tennessee drivers are made aware of where DUI checkpoints will be set up. Many drivers might not pay attention to that sort of information and, therefore, be surprised when there is a line of cars formed at a certain area of Tennessee road. An officer will stop the car, talk to the driver and likely ask that driver to submit to sobriety tests if there is alleged reason to believe that he or she is impaired.

Though DUI checkpoints mean that more drivers might be stopped by police, police rights don't change. A person shouldn't be arrested and charged with drunk driving without proper procedure and evidence on the part of authorities. It doesn't matter if someone is pulled over on a regular Saturday night or at a planned checkpoint; their legal rights are the same, and so are the responsibilities of police.

With Thanksgiving just days away, police in Chattanooga and beyond are sure to invade the roads in full force. Holidays are a classic time for police to make many DUI arrests. Anyone who is a target of that arrest should work with a drunk driving defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Source: The Tennessean, "Tennessee puts focus on road safety, especially in counties with rising fatality rate," Nov. 19, 2013

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