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Expect Increased DUI Enforcement Effort in Tennessee

July 8, 2014

All Tennessee drivers can expect to see highway patrol officials out in full force this summer as part of the “Drive to Zero” campaign. According to a recent WVLT news report, this effort by the Tennessee Highway Patrol will focus on stopping and preventing drugged driving. Approximately every 30 minutes, someone is killed because of drunk or drugged drivers. While it is unclear how effective this campaign will be, it is clear that there will be more troopers on the roadway and more drivers will likely face DUI charges as a result.

Drugged driving is a crime that carries serious penalties in Tennessee. A first offense for drugged driving can result in a fine of up to $1,500 and a license suspension for one year. Some drivers will also face jail time and additional charges for possession.

If you have been pulled over for drugged driving in Tennessee, remember to stay calm. You have the right to refuse a breath test and a field sobriety test. You even have the right to refuse to answer questions and to refuse officers right to search your vehicle. However, your actions may cause the officer to arrest you and bring you to the station.

If you have been apprehended, you must submit to a blood test. Refusing a test at the station can result in a lengthy driver’s license suspension in addition to whatever criminal penalties you may face for driving while impaired. You retain your right, however, to remain silent. Ask to speak with a lawyer and then remain silent.

If the prosecution believes you were impaired or that you were transporting drugs across county lines, you could face severe penalties. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be facing charges such as drug possession, possession with attempt to sell, trafficking, drugged driving, and other related charges. If you or a loved one has been accused of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs, please contact an experienced Knoxville DUI defense lawyer to build your defense right away.