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Sobriety checkpoints to ensnare drivers in Tennessee

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will have several sobriety checkpoints in Tennessee over the Fourth of July holiday. The goal is to make the holiday as safe as possible for those visiting the state and those who are residents already.

The agency used predictive technology to determine where the sobriety checkpoints would be most helpful over the holiday. The analysis shows where there is a high risk of alcohol-related crashes, fatal crashes and injury crashes.

The checkpoints will also include seat belt checks, so that even if someone is in a crash, his or her injuries may be less severe. State troopers are also planning to conduct saturation patrols to catch anyone driving drunk or recklessly.

In 2016, there were 12 people killed during the Fourth of July holiday. In 2013, there were 19, so there has been progress. The goal is to make sure that there are even fewer injuries and deaths this year, especially focusing on reducing those caused by alcohol or resulting from not wearing seat belts. In 2016, four people killed weren't wearing their seat belts, and three were in crashes resulting from intoxication.

Many people believe that sobriety checkpoints are not legal, and this is something that may be used to your advantage if you need to defend yourself against a DUI received at one of these checkpoints. The Fourth Amendment guarantees your right against unreasonable search and seizure. The State of Michigan has already said these checkpoints are illegal, despite other states not all following suit. The reasonableness of your stop may determine if the evidence against you is legal to use in court.

Source: Times Free Press, "Sobriety checkpoints planned for July 4th holiday," June 30, 2017

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