In Tennessee and across the country, the peak annual time for DUI arrests is between The Fourth of July and Labor Day. Statistically, more drunk driving arrests happen on the long Labor Day weekend than at any other single time period during the year.
Many people see Labor Day as the unofficial end of summer. Children around the country going back to school, seasonal businesses are closing, and stores will soon start putting out decorations for Halloween and Christmas. It is also the culmination of nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns that typically begin on Memorial Day weekend.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative began over 20 years ago as a way to combat rising rates of alcohol-related accidents during the summertime peak of DUIs. Though it has resulted in tens of thousands of arrests across the country, the question of whether it’s actually helping to prevent impaired driving is a much harder one to answer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that an average of 13,000 people are killed in alcohol-related car crashes each year. Hundreds of thousands more are injured. For the past several years, Tennessee has seen more than 250 DUI-related fatalities, representing over 25 percent of the state’s overall traffic deaths.
Avoiding a DUI
As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. From a criminal defense standpoint, the best possible way to prevent the consequences associated with a DUI arrest is to never get one in the first place.
- Select a designated driver before celebrating
- Use public transportation, taxis, Uber/Lyft/ride-sharing services to get home safely
- Limit your alcohol intake, and stop drinking several hours before hitting the road if you will be driving
- Never allow minors access to alcohol
- Confine your revelry to your home, a motel/hotel or a loved one’s home: nobody driving means nobody can drive drunk
If you do find yourself facing DUI charges, you’ll need an aggressive and capable criminal defense attorney to help you fight back. With such severe consequences on the line (including the loss of your driving privileges, expensive fines, jail time and more), you should never simply acquiesce to criminal charges.