Nashville, TN- Fourth of July means millions of motorists will be on the roads all across the country. In addition to more motorists, there will be more sobriety checkpoints and more officers on the road and in Tennessee if you get pulled over you can refuse to submit to a sobriety test.
Over the Fourth of July holiday in 2012, 21 Tennesseans were killed in 17 drunken driving accidents, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security reported. In an effort to curtail the incidents of intoxicated driving, law enforcement will be out in force and if you get pulled over you won’t have the option of refusing a blood test or breathalyzer.
The “Nor Refusal” enforcement initiative will begin Wed., July 3, at 6:00 p.m. and continue until midnight Sunday July 7, 2013.
“We are proud to again partner with various local law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges across the state in a “No Refusal” enforcement campaign during the Fourth of July holiday period. Drunk driving is a threat to public safety, and this specialized enforcement gives us another tool to combat impaired driving and reduce fatal crashes in Tennessee,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said, according to Clarkesville Online.
“No Refusal” allows local law enforcement to quickly obtain a search warrant for blood samples from drivers they suspect of being intoxicated. Typically, it can take an hour to two for officers to obtain search warrant, but in 16 Tennessee counties, including Davidson, police will be able to quickly obtain the warrant they need.
In the majority of states, drivers are well within their rights to refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test. This is a common tactic employed by people who are familiar with DUI laws. By refusing to take these tests, officers and prosecutors are deprived of the evidence needed secure a DUI conviction. Refusing to take a sobriety test has its own consequences, such as the loss of driving privileges, but it helps a person avoid a DUI conviction, which can stay on a person’s record for years and years.
The Fourth of July is the single most injurious day in the United States. Personal and accident injuries peak on this day because the many summer activities people participate in on the water and on land. The heat puts a lot of people at risk of heat stroke. Fireworks also pose significant danger with burns and eye injuries occurring frequently.
However, nothing causes more injuries and deaths on Independence Day than drunken driving hence the increased patrols and “No Refusal” weekend. The AAA motor club estimates that 40 percent of all fatal accidents on the Fourth are caused by intoxicated drivers.
The Fourth of July is more dangerous than New Year’s Eve for drunken driving accidents. The Fourth of July is supposed to be fun so don’t ruin it by driving if you are too intoxicated. If you must drive just treat every other motorist as if they are drunk that way you can be assured of your own safety.