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THP planning extra DUI enforcement over holiday weekend

Right now, many people are busy finalizing their travel arrangements for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, setting up rides to the airport, buying last-minute bus tickets or filling up their tanks in preparation for a long road trip.

Still others, however, are busy making plans with friends and family members who intend to stay close to home over the long weekend, perhaps making plans for a barbeque, party or even a day trip to a local fishing spot.

As it turns out, those staying close by will want to exercise considerable caution if they plan to consume alcohol at any point over the Memorial Day weekend, as the Tennessee Highway Patrol has announced that it will be out in full force in each of its eight districts from midnight Friday to midnight Monday looking to catch drunk drivers.

In addition to saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, the THP has also made a point of announcing that "No refusal" enforcement will be in full effect.

In general, when a trooper pulls someone over on suspicion of driving under the influence, they cannot simply demand a blood or breath sample. Rather, they must establish the necessary probable cause via field sobriety tests.

If a driver does indeed provide sufficient probable cause after failing multiple field sobriety tests, the trooper can then request the blood or breath sample. In the event the driver refuses, this is technically where the "no refusal" comes into play, as a judge will be on call to sign off on warrants authorizing the taking of the sample.

It's important to understand, however, that "no refusal" is not some new or special tool that law enforcement only deploys at certain times, but has actually been around for decades as part of the state's implied consent law -- something we'll explore in a future post.

In the meantime, it's imperative for drivers to either monitor their alcohol intake this weekend or to be sure to have a designated driver. After all, the THP made 162 DUI arrests over last year's Memorial Day weekend.

If you are facing DUI charges, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to protect your freedom, your reputation and your future.

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