NASHVILLE –The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will conduct a “No Refusal” traffic safety enforcement campaign during the 2015 New Year’s Eve holiday period, beginning Thursday, December 31 at 12:01 a.m. and concluding Monday, January 4 at 11:59 p.m. State troopers will perform saturation patrols, seat belt, sobriety and driver’s license checkpoints as well as bar/tavern checks during the holiday. All of Tennessee’s ninety five counties will have troopers working to ensure a safe holiday as we conclude 2015 and begin 2016.
The state statute regarding “No Refusal” allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers. The “No Refusal” enforcement will take place in one county in each of the eight THP Districts. This campaign is aimed at deterring impaired driving and reducing fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways.
“The goal of the THP is to keep everyone who is traveling on Tennessee roadways safe,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “We will not tolerate impaired drivers. State troopers will aggressively enforce the drinking and driving law during the New Year’s holiday period.”
The participating “No Refusal” counties include Knox (Knoxville District); Hamilton (Chattanooga District); Davidson (Nashville District); Shelby (Memphis District); Washington (Fall Branch District); Putnam (Cookeville District which includes Warren County); Lawrence (Lawrenceburg District); and Hardin (Jackson District).
During last year’s New Year’s holiday period, nine people were killed in nine traffic crashes on Tennessee roadways. Of the nine vehicular fatalities, eight were vehicle occupants and one was a pedestrian. Alcohol was involved in six (33.3 %) of the traffic deaths, while four of the eight vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts. State troopers have arrested 7,726 individuals for alcohol-impaired driving from January 1 through December 28, 2015. In 2014, the number of arrests made during that time was 8,330.
“Our department will be working diligently to make sure Tennesseans arrive at their destinations safely,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “It is our intent to enforce traffic laws in order to keep Tennesseans safe. During this New Year’s holiday, we hope you will enjoy your family and friends as you ring in the New Year. Please choose a sober driver to get home safely.”