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Tennessee 'No Refusal' law use over Thanksgiving holiday

Perhaps it was inevitable that authorities in Tennessee would make a point of releasing data about how they are enforcing the new "No Refusal" law over holiday weekends. The law represents one more means for authorities to crack down on those suspected of driving under the influence. They are sure to want to tout their results.

The long Thanksgiving weekend was the last high-visibility period to which officials could peg news about enforcement of the law. The law took effect July 1 and use of it started ramping up over the subsequent holidays that followed.

Before the law, Tennessee drivers had the right to refuse to be tested when stopped for suspected DUI. Now, if someone refuses, police have the right to seek a warrant that can force a person to submit to the test.

After the most recent holiday, the Tennessee Highway Patrol released information stating that five people who refused blood alcohol level tests became targets of warrants. The enforcement tactic was used across 16 counties around the Nashville area between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25.

Officials say that over that time frame, 78 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI. There was only one alcohol-related fatality recorded in the region of "No Refusal" focus. Statewide, there were apparently six people killed. Three of those fatalities, including the one in the enforcement region, were said to be alcohol-related.

There's no word on how many of the warrants issued during the recent crackdown yielded evidence supporting suspected DUI. But even if tests were positive, it doesn't mean that those charged are without options for possible defense. To achieve the best possible outcome to such cases, those charged should be sure to consider all their options in consultation with an attorney.

Source: WRCB-TV, "THP announces results of Thanksgiving "No Refusal" DUI effort," Gary Poole, Nov. 28, 2012

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