At various times throughout the year, police ramp up DUI enforcement efforts. The exact nature of the efforts varies by state and county, but in general, it means increasing the number of police on duty, setting up sobriety checkpoints and focusing their enforcement efforts on stopping suspected drunk drivers.
As a result, it can be more likely for a person driving drunk or buzzed to get pulled over during these times. This is important to recognize now, as police across Tennessee ramp up DUI patrols in the days surrounding Labor Day.
Knowing your rights during ramped-up enforcement
When there are more police officers on the road, and they are focused on making DUI arrests, there can be a higher likelihood of getting pulled over. In these situations, you should know that you still have the same rights as you do on any other day.
You still have the right to refuse a breathalyzer or chemical test, though doing so will still have the same repercussions, including license suspension. You still have the right to refuse to consent to a search of your car without a warrant and the right to remain silent.
These rights hold true whether police pull you over after swerving or they stop you at a checkpoint. You should also know that if you do come upon a sobriety checkpoint, you have the right to turn around.
Avoiding a DUI in Tennessee
Knowing your rights during a DUI stop can be crucial in helping to protect yourself and avoid costly DUI charges. However, avoiding a stop in the first place can be an even better way to shield yourself from drunk driving allegations.
For instance, if you have a drink, it can be a good idea to find a ride with someone who has not had anything to drink, even if you don’t think you are intoxicated. You might also want to wait longer before getting behind the wheel if you have had a couple of drinks. Checking to see if the Tennessee Highway Patrol has posted any sobriety checkpoints in your area can also be wise.
Taking these precautions can help you protect yourself from a potentially costly DUI charge.