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Drinking and Driving During the Holidays

Believe it or not, the holiday season is already here and festive lights and decorations are popping up all across Franklin and the rest of Tennessee. So much of the magic of this season originates from all the time we get to spend with our friends and families in celebration. Most jubilations are accompanied by alcohol, though, and highway patrol officers know this all too well. Many law enforcement agencies actually call the weeks between late November and early January "DUI season" because DUI arrests tend to spike greatly all across the country during this time.

If you are planning on visiting loved ones this winter and think you might enjoy a beverage with them, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Not so fast: If it has rained or snowed recently, you must be prepared for ice on the roads. Completely sober drivers can lose control of their vehicles easily. Please be safe at all times and slow down to an appropriate pace. Furthermore, police will be looking for cars that are having a difficult time handling the slick roads, possibly hinting at or being mistaken for intoxication.
  • Check the checkpoint: Traffic stops are one of the most common ways the police attempt to catch people who are driving under the influence (DUI) during the holidays. They'll post up on busy highways near the entrances of the city. The interesting thing about them is that they are not always completely legal. For example, if there is no public notice ahead of time of the sobriety checkpoint, evidence collected at it could be inadmissible.
  • BAC up for debate: Nearly everyone knows that having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level greater than 0.08% constitutes driving while intoxicated. But not many people know that you can be charged with a DUI with a BAC lower than that, depending on the circumstances of your arrest. Tying back to the example of ice on the road, if you were found to have a BAC of 0.04% – half the legal limit – but were pulled over on a particularly hazardous and wintry road, the police might use that as grounds to arrest you.

In summation, you can generally expect law enforcement officials to be looking more keenly at drivers during the holidays than any other time of the year. To some degree, this is good because it can take dangerous motorists off the road. Consequently, it is also bad, as people who should not realistically be charged for a DUI could be getting slammed with citations due to overzealous patrol officers.

Do you have more questions about challenging DUI arrests in Tennessee? Let our Franklin DUI Attorney Brian Lee Nash know what happened by calling 615.809.1859 today.