Celebrate the 4th of July Safely in Nashville

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We love celebrating the 4th of July in Nashville! Don't you? It's a great occasion to reflect on our nation with pride and enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted. With traditions like fireworks, burgers, fresh watermelon, and sweet tea, our celebrations are packed full of family, fun, and laughs.

Nashville offers many opportunities to celebrate, including the amazing Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4, presented by Dr. Pepper. Patrons will enjoy food, live music, and an incredible fireworks show.

With an event like this, there are many questions. Can I anchor my boat nearby and watch the fireworks? Will they serve alcohol downtown for the event? What happens if I get pulled over or encounter a checkpoint?

We're making sure you have all the details you need to know about the event and what to do if you see a checkpoint.

Nashville 4th of July Event Details

What Days: July 3rd & 4th

Where: Ascend Amphitheater & The Green at Riverfront Park

Entertainers: Sheryl Crow will headline on July 4th and Maddie & Tae, Rayland Baxter, Erin McCarley, Andrew Combs, Ruby Amanfu, and the Nashville Symphony will also perform. On July 3rd, Brandy Clark will headline and DJ DU, Shelly Colvin, and Jason Eskridge will also perform. See the full schedule here.

Family Fun: McDonald's Family Fun Zone

Food & Drinks: The event is sponsored by Dr. Pepper, you'll find plenty! You will not be allowed to bring in outside food or beverages, but you will find an extensive list of food and drink vendors, including alcohol.

Fee: FREE

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A note about public intoxication: Although it is legal to carry open containers in sections of downtown, it doesn't mean you can't be arrested for public intoxication. To be arrested, the person must be considered "drunk and disorderly." It's a misdemeanor charge alleging that the person is visibly drunk or under the influence of drugs in public.

What do officers look for at checkpoints and traffic stops?

There will be checkpoints around Nashville for the 4th of July events, and they will be clearly marked. See a PDF of the checkpoints here. At checkpoints, motorists are stopped using a neutral formula, meaning the same standards are used for every car that comes through. Officers will look for visible signs of intoxication, they can check for warrants, and verify you have a valid driver's license. They can do field sobriety tests if they suspect that the driver is under the influence.

The officer may ask you to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. If you refuse in the state of Tennessee, you could be looking at a revoked license for one year plus fines of $350 to $1,500. (TCA 55-10-406: Tests for Alcoholic or Drug Content of Blood -- Implied Consent - Refusal to submit to test etc.) The penalties are heavier if the driver is driving with a suspended license.

If you get pulled over, the rules above apply. Don't give police officers a reason to pull you over in the first place. Make sure all lights are working properly, the tinting on your car is not above the legal limit, and follow all traffic laws. It's never safe to drink and drive, but you can help yourself by not giving an officer a reason to pull you over that's not related to drinking and driving.

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What are the laws around boating and drinking?

Enjoying the fireworks and concerts from your boat are priceless! The river goes right through downtown. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reported that Old Hickory Lock will be open on July 4th. See this map for safe anchoring spots, idle speed zones, and safety zones.

If you plan on boating your way into downtown, know that it is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The penalties for a first offense include fines, jail time, and not being able to operate a boat from one to 10 years!

Alcohol is widely consumed at 4th of July parties and events, and although it is legal to drink if you are over 21, it's not always the smartest move. Know your personal limits when it comes to alcohol and put safety above "a good time."

For more answers about the event, see a list of common questions here.

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