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Do 'no refusal' drunk driving checkpoints lower fatalities?

Drunk driving is a big problem for everyone on the roads. It is a massive danger for not only the drunk driver themselves, but also for everyone else on their daily journeys. Holiday periods in the United States are usually celebrated by everyone. Here in Tennessee, as elsewhere, there are usually a significant number of drunk driving cases over these periods, causing many problems and accidents.

This year, the Tennessee Highway Patrol reported that there has been a decrease in fatalities that have occurred as a result of drunk driving. An example of a recent holiday where this occurred was the long July Fourth weekend. Twenty-one people died last year over the weekend, whereas 16 died this year. Although even a single death is one too many, the 'No Refusal' checkpoints have reportedly helped in lowering this number.

A total of 61 people were arrested at the 'No Refusal' checkpoints on suspicion of a drunk driving charge. Knox is among the counties that participate in the operation. If a suspect refuses to take a Breathalyzer test, it is possible for a warrant to be obtained in order to retrieve a blood sample from the accused. This means that, in most cases, a person who is suspected of being impaired must either submit to a breath test or expect the issuance of a warrant.

Tennessee law enforcement does its best to keep our roads clear of drunk drivers, but this does not mean that every person suspected of drunk driving is guilty of any charges that ensue. DUI charges must be proved in court, and there is a substantial difference between an accusation of wrongdoing and proving it by the stringent measure of proof required in criminal court. Correct procedures followed regarding Breathalyzer and blood tests, and any errors in administering them could result in the charges being dismissed for lack of evidence.

Source: examiner.com, "Tennessee Highway Patrol sees decrease in July Fourth fatalities," David Garrett, July 12th 2013

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