The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s list has planned several checkpoints in Chattanooga in the days leading up to (and including) Independence Day. With July 4th being a notorious party holiday – and one of the busiest days of the year for DUI arrests – police will obviously be on the lookout for drunk drivers.
Checkpoints are actually planned across the state for this holiday as a deterrence to drivers to encourage them to make alternative arrangements in lieu of driving after imbibing. Additionally, checkpoints will ensure that drivers have their licenses present, wear seatbelts and avoid talking on handheld cellphones behind the wheel.
Cases in Tennessee and around the country have, in recent years, challenged the constitutionality and propriety of DUI checkpoints. Regardless of those arguments, however, the checkpoints continue, though law enforcement agencies in Tennessee are required to announce them ahead of time.
Avoiding trouble at checkpoints
It is important any time you’ve been drinking to not drive afterwards. Planning ahead will allow you to still enjoy all the festivities at Independence Day gatherings without having to worry about the consequences of a DUI conviction (like jail time, license suspension, fines, ignition interlock devices, job impact, etc.). When you know you’ll be drinking, make sure that you do one of these:
- Get a sober driver – if a designated driver isn’t available, then you can always arrange for a ride-share like an Uber or Lyft, call a cab, take a shuttle, or take advantage of public transportation
- Plan to stay over at the location of the gathering
- Party within walking distance from home – keeping things close to home alleviates the temptation and need to drive