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THP to employ "no refusal" checkpoints Labor Day weekend

As we head into the Labor Day weekend, we can expect the usual holiday sales in stores, picnics and barbeques in parks and Tennessee Highway Patrol sobriety checkpoints. Yes, summer is coming to an end, and the THP is going to be out there waiting to arrest you if they think your are driving drunk.

The THP is having a successful year, with a 35 percent increase in the number of DUI arrests as compared with the same period last year. With the Labor Day weekend and the first game for the University of Tennessee football season, the THP is planning on an aggressive enforcement presence across eastern Tennessee.

They will be looking for speeding, distracted driving and reckless driving, which includes driving drunk. The THP has been using software that analyzes crash and arrest data to tailor where they place an increased number of patrols.

For all drivers out this holiday weekend, you should all be aware that the THP and other law enforcement will be using "no refusal" sobriety checkpoints. At these traffic stops, officers will stop vehicles and ask the drivers a few questions to assess whether they believe a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

If they suspect impairment, they will instruct the driver to perform some field sobriety tests. At that point, if they believe the driver is intoxicated, they will ask the driver to consent to a blood alcohol test.

The checkpoints are called "no refusal," because if you refuse, the officer will then obtain a warrant for the blood test from a judge. If the judge approves the warrant, they are then authorized to take a blood draw and have your blood tested.

WBIR.com, "THP: DUI arrests up 35%, preparing for big holiday weekend," Aaron Wright, August 25, 2014

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