Law enforcement agencies in Tennessee are vigilant about the dangers of drunk driving all year long. But the final three months of the calendar year are typically a period of extra focus and more stringent enforcement of DUI laws. The “holiday season” now starts before Halloween and continues through the beginning of January. During this time, most Tennesseans will celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Some will also or alternatively celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanza.

Most of these holiday celebrations will include alcohol, and that means a much higher potential for drunk driving. For these and other reasons, all Tennessee drivers need to do what they can to always be sober behind the wheel and vigilant to the possibility that others may be driving drunk.

The season seems to be getting longer

Many people don’t include Halloween in their conception of “the holiday season.” Often, it begins in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. But the Tennessee Highway Patrol has identified it as a high-risk holiday worthy of inclusion in enforcement measures. On the week of Halloween, the THP conducted roadside sobriety checkpoints at select locations around the state.

Numerous enforcement measures

As in other years, state and local law enforcement are using a variety of tools to combat drunk driving in the final months of 2020. They include sobriety checkpoints, increased patrols and public messaging through TV, radio and social media. In some areas, they also coordinate with public and private transportation organizations to offer free or reduced rides around major holidays to encourage people to take alternative, sober transportation.

Remember: Aggressive enforcement can lead to mistakes

Any time that police decide to increase enforcement efforts, they increase the risk of mistakes and overzealous arrests. As such, it is very possible for innocent individuals to be mistakenly arrested, for certain drivers to be overcharged and for some drivers to have their rights violated during interactions with police.

Even if you don’t drink much over the holidays, these are risks you need to be aware of. And if you do find yourself caught up in the legal system due to allegations of drunk driving or for any other reason, please seek the help of an experienced defense attorney who can protect your rights and freedom.