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Tennessee Highway Patrol reports uptick in holiday DUI arrests

Drinking and driving isn't an issue that is limited to the holiday weekends in Tennessee. But with the holidays may come a relaxed attitude about what it means to act responsibly. Anyone who pays attention to the news knows that police certainly do all they can to step up awareness about the bane of drunk driving during the holidays. It's enough to make one wonder just how different rates are for DUI arrests during holidays compared to all other weekends in a year.

That's not a question we can answer here. What we can relay is what authorities share about their statistics. And this year, the Tennessee Highway Patrol reports they were busier than last year. According to the official count, troopers in East Tennessee alone made 16 DUI arrests and issued citations in the hundreds. They say both numbers were higher than in 2011. There were nine DUI arrests recorded during the 2011 holidays.

The holiday season was counted from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1. It isn't clear how many arrests may have been made in the other sections of the state. Nor is it known whether the numbers provided by THP included numbers of arrests that may have been made by local police.

Among the other statistics provided in the THP report out of East Tennessee was that there were 78 crashes that resulted in injuries in 2012, compared with 62 a year ago. One death was reported, which matched the fatality count for 2011.

Accidents that result in fatalities, of course, tend to prompt the filing of the more serious criminal charge of vehicular homicide. Conviction of this Class B felony isn't always easy for prosecutors to achieve. There are plenty of aspects of any case that deserve to be asked to ensure that a charged person's rights are fully protected. That's why it's always wise for the charged person to have an experienced attorney by their side.

Source: WATE-TV, "THP sees jump in arrests and citations from 2011," Stephanie Beecken, Jan. 2, 2013

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