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Labor Day high-visibility DUI enforcement runs through Sept. 7

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Labor Day weekend is one of the most dangerous times on U.S. roads in terms of drunk driving. Therefore, law enforcement agencies around the state and across the nation will be participating in high-visibility DUI enforcement through Sept. 7.

In 2018, there were 10,511 traffic fatalities involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08%. Drunk drivers were involved in 29% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents that year. And, approximately two-thirds of those fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.15% or higher.

"Our campaign's focus is to raise national awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired, and to prevent future crash fatalities and injuries," said NHTSA's deputy administrator. "NHTSA encourages everyone to celebrate this socially distanced Labor Day safely and create a plan that prevents you, your friends, or your family from driving impaired."

Remember, any form of impaired driving is illegal in Tennessee and in all 50 states. That includes impairment caused by legal drugs or even prescription drugs.

Make a plan for a safe ride home

High-visibility DUI enforcement generally includes assigning extra officers to focus on DUI offenses, extra sobriety checkpoints, and more. In order to avoid an arrest, you will need to make a plan for a sober ride.

If your plan includes using a ride-sharing app, be sure the app is downloaded and ready to go. If you're planning on taking a taxi, be sure you have the phone number or app required to call one. If your plan is to take public transportation, sit down beforehand and get a sense of when buses on your route will arrive. Or, designate a sober driver.

It's just as important to have a backup plan in case your original plan falls through. This is because it can be difficult to come up with a new plan once you've been drinking.

If you do get arrested, don't panic but contact an experienced DUI defense attorney right away. Hiring an attorney may allow you to reduce the charges or the penalties. You may be allowed limited driving privileges that allow you to continue working or driving to school. An experienced DUI attorney can advise you of your best defense and help you maintain your driving privileges.

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