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What you should know about holiday sobriety checkpoints

The holidays are swiftly approaching. As we at the Law Office of Rob McKinney are aware, this means alcohol-related festivities for many residents of Tennessee. As we also know, the holidays can mean the start of sobriety checkpoint season.

The Governors Highway Safety Association explains that many law enforcement agencies across the country utilize sobriety checkpoints to catch drunk drivers during periods where high alcohol use is likely. The holiday season is a time of year when many people drink at parties and gatherings with friends and family. What exactly are sobriety checkpoints, you might wonder?

A checkpoint is an area where officers randomly pull over vehicles to inspect the drivers for signs of intoxication. If you are pulled over, you would most likely be asked to perform a field sobriety test, during which the officers will test your reflexes and ability to stand on one foot and walk in a straight line, as well as look for other signs that you might have been drinking. Many people believe sobriety checkpoints are unfair, as people who had nothing to drink are often pulled over and subjected to tests, which they might fail due to a medical condition or simple nervousness. Some might believe that checkpoints profile certain racial or ethnic groups.

Sobriety checkpoints can be conducted once or twice a month in Tennessee. As our page on field sobriety tests explains, these tests can be unreliable and you might be arrested for drunk driving even if you had nothing to drink. Experienced counsel is necessary when you are facing charges.

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