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Memphis sits at a crossroads, in between Little Rock to the west and Nashville to the east, and in between Jackson to the south and St. Louis to the north. At the same time, we’re also a premier destination for travelers and vacationers. Combine these factors with a holiday and you get a lot of traffic flowing in and out of Shelby County and a lot of planes taking off and landing at Memphis International Airport over the coming few days.

This is a time of Thanksgiving and get-togethers with family and friends. It’s also the time when Memphis police officers and Shelby County sheriff’s deputies will be out on the roads looking for motorists suspected of drunken driving.

Few things will ruin a holiday faster than a trip to jail after being arrested for driving under the influence. The federal government’s Department of Transportation (DOT) reminds everyone that the Wednesday night before Turkey Day is known as Thanksgiving Eve: a night when bars do big business (and so do the police).

Unfortunately, it’s also a night when violent traffic collisions occur far too often. Thanksgiving is the deadliest holiday on the American calendar, DOT says.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a new slogan for this year’s big Wednesday: “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.” Instead, if you plan a night out celebrating, you are urged to plan ahead with a designated driver. And if you can’t do that, take a cab or ride share or public transportation instead of getting behind the wheel.

Any and all of those options are better than a DUI arrest that will threaten your freedom, your driver’s license and your wallet.

If you face Tennessee’s drunk driving penalties, remember that you don’t have to do it on your own. An attorney experienced in DUI defense can help you avoid the harshest sanctions of the law.