The upcoming Labor Day holiday means that summer is nearly over in the Chattanooga area. It also means that local police are pursuing DUI arrests even more aggressively than usual.
The Chattanooga Police Department says it is working with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for a “Booze It and Lose It” campaign from Aug. 21 through Sep. 7. The campaign’s purpose is to target holiday drivers suspected of impaired driving, the theory being more people will drink and drive during the three-day weekend.
DUI charges are serious, even if it’s a first offense
The phrase “Booze It and Lose It” refers to Tennessee’s strict DUI criminal punishments. Even if you have no prior record, the sentence for a first offense includes having your driver’s license revoked for a year and at least 48 hours in jail. However, you may be able to get your driving privileges back with restrictions, so that you can continue to commute to work. The court could require you to pay to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, which can cost more than $1,000 at a minimum.
A word of advice
With increased patrols working overtime over the next ten days or so, it is more likely than usual that you will be pulled over by a police officer. If you are, the first thing to remember is to remain calm. Remember, the officer is trying to build a case against you for a DUI charge. Be polite, but do not volunteer any more information than is absolutely necessary. For example, some people think that if they admit to “having a couple of drinks during dinner,” the officer will let you go for your honesty. The truth is, saying something like that just makes it more likely you will be arrested.
Your next move
If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI during the upcoming holiday weekend, you need to know what your rights are, and if you have options for avoiding jail time and the loss of your license. The only way to do this is to consult a criminal defense attorney.