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Nothing funny about a DUI in Tennessee

When a Tennessee state police trooper or a local police or sheriff's deputy pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence, you don't expect special treatment. You hope the law enforcement officer treats you fairly, and that you aren't singled-out for something more unpleasant, such as abuse or manipulation by the officer.

Celebrities, however, have a different perspective on drunk driving charges, and often make light of the offense. A news story points out an Instagram photo sent by Khloe Kardashian that included a picture of her and her sister's boyfriend. The "joke" was that both pictures were mug shots from their respective DUI arrests.

One reason is that these celebrities can afford unlimited legal help. Their agents likely have law firms on retainer, and they are unbothered by the prospect of six-figure legal bills. They also may be "just passing through" when they are arrested and can easily afford virtually any bail, so they may be able to avoid much personal contact with the prosecuting jurisdiction.

If you are arrested for a DUI, you are unlikely to have these advantages. And any attempt to make light of the prosecution is only like the increase the potential penalties a prosecutor may request. With a wide range of potential penalties for DUI charges, prosecutors have broad discretion and may create a cocktail of penalties, including fines, license revocation and jail time.

And it is very important that you stop talking as soon as you realize that you are going to be arrested. The less you say to police, the better for your case. Politely ask for an attorney and wait to speak with them. Your attorney will discuss your options with the prosecution and prevent you inadvertently saying something that compromises your defense or irritates the authorities. 

Source: FOX News, "Experts: Celebrities who glorify drunk driving make streets more dangerous," Hollie McKay, June 5, 2014

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