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3 things to remember about DUIs this Fourth of July

Fourth of July is coming up next week, and while it falls in the middle of the week this year, people across Tennessee will still be out celebrating. People go to parades; they host barbecues; they go to see live music and fireworks.

Often, these holiday-related celebrations go hand-in-hand with having at least a couple alcoholic drinks, so it is important to keep a few important things in mind about holidays like the Fourth of July and drunk driving.

  1. Enforcement efforts often increase over the holiday. Police know that people drink during holidays like the Fourth of July, and this means that they will likely be out in full force looking for potentially intoxicated drivers. They may pull over drivers they might have overlooked during other periods; they could also be more likely to administer sobriety tests.
  2. Even if you don't feel drunk, you can still wind up facing charges. It can be incredibly difficult to tell the difference between having a 0.07 percent blood alcohol concentration and being over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Unfortunately, that small amount makes a big difference in whether police arrest you or not. Remember that even if you don't feel drunk, you could still face serious criminal charges if you are caught driving over the legal limit.
  3. You have rights. Whether police stop you after an alleged traffic violation or a sobriety checkpoint, remember that you have rights. This includes the right to refuse a breath test, for instance. If police violate procedures or a person's rights during a stop, there can be grounds to seek a dismissal or reduction of drunk driving charges.

One final reminder is that the best way to avoid DUI arrest and charges this holiday is to not get behind the wheel if you've been drinking. Get a ride with a friend, take public transportation or spend the night somewhere safe until you know you are okay to drive. Not only can this help you avoid getting a DUI, it can also keep you and other motorists safe this holiday.

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