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Holiday DUI enforcement still going on through New Year's Day

If you've noticed an unusual number of DUI checkpoints lately, it's not your imagination. The rate of drunk driving tends to spike this time of year due to all the alcohol available at holiday festivities. Therefore, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and law enforcement agencies across Tennessee are upping their game with an increased DUI enforcement period.

The campaign involves both the addition of sobriety checkpoints but also increased messaging to the public in an effort to reduce the dangers of drunk driving. The increased enforcement period runs through New Year's Eve.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are an average of about 300 deaths nationwide each year during the period between Christmas and New Year's Day. The Tennessee Highway Safety Office points out that crashes overall went up last year, with more than 500 crashes last December attributed to DUI. However, drunk driving deaths have been trending downward for a decade.

There are more ways than ever to avoid a DUI

With Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services so common these days, it's easy and relatively inexpensive to get a sober ride whenever you need one. You can also opt for public transportation, a taxi, or a ride from a sober friend.

The key is thinking things through before you start drinking. Have plans for safe transportation already in mind before you take your first drink. Make sure you have the app downloaded on your phone or have the number for a cab service saved so you don't have to look things up while you're intoxicated.

Alcohol affects your judgment. If you don't have a safe transportation plan in place, drinking will not only make it harder to develop a plan but may make it seem less important.

Keep an eye out for friends and family members who may not have made safe travel plans. If you're hosting a party with alcohol, take people's keys at the beginning of the night and don't give them back to someone who is intoxicated. Make sure you have appetizing drinks available for designated drivers. Be prepared to call a car for your intoxicated loved ones, or be willing to let them spend the night.

If you make a mistake, don't panic. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help you limit the damage.

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