The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will conduct a “No Refusal” traffic safety enforcement campaign during the 2016 New Year’s Eve holiday period beginning Friday, December 30, at 6:00 p.m. and concluding Sunday, January 1, at 11:59 p.m. State troopers will perform saturation patrols and bar/tavern checks as well as seat belt, sobriety and driver’s license checkpoints during the holiday. All of Tennessee’s 95 counties will have troopers working to ensure a safe holiday as we conclude the year.
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 Sevier (Knoxville District); Coffee (Chattanooga District); Rutherford (Nashville District); Shelby (Memphis District); Washington (Fall Branch District); Putnam (Cookeville District); Maury (Lawrenceburg District); and Benton (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 three (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, 2016. In 2015, the number of arrests made during that time was 8,330.
“Our department will be working diligently to make sure our roadways are safe for travelers,” Commissioner David W. Purkey said. “This holiday weekend, we hope you will enjoy time with your family and friends as you ring in the New Year. Please choose a sober driver to get home safely.”