THP Prepares For New Year's Eve "No Refusal" Enforcement

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Five people lost their lives in vehicular crashes on Tennessee roadways during last year’s New Year’s Eve holiday period. 60 percent of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-related crashes. That is why the Tennessee Highway Patrol will join with local law enforcement agencies to conduct another “No Refusal” DUI enforcement campaign during the 2012-13 New Year’s Eve holiday, beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, and concluding at midnight on Tuesday.

“No Refusal” is the latest enforcement strategy aimed at deterring impaired driving and reducing fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways. The law, passed this year by the General Assembly, allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers. Previous “No Refusal” enforcements in Tennessee have been held during several holiday periods this year, including the 4th of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving.  

“The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s eight district captains have worked tirelessly to coordinate this effort with local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges and emergency services personnel in their respective regions,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “They take their duty to ensure the public’s safety seriously, and this enforcement effort is proof of their commitment.”

During the New Year’s Eve period, two counties from each of the eight THP Districts will participate in the No Refusal campaign, including Knox and Sevier (Knoxville District); Hamilton and Marion (Chattanooga District); Robertson and Wilson (Nashville District); Crockett and Tipton (Memphis District); Carter and Greene (Fall Branch District); Cumberland and Overton (Cookeville District); Bedford and Maury (Lawrenceburg District); and Chester and Carroll (Jackson District).  

Of the five people killed during last year’s New Year’s Eve period, three were not wearing safety restraints. In 2012, 52.4 percent of vehicle occupant fatalities are from unrestrained vehicle occupants in Tennessee. Additionally, alcohol related crashes are on the rise across the state. There have been 7,567 alcohol crashes already this year. That is an increase of 182 more impaired driving crashes (2.5%) than this time last year.

“State Troopers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the New Year’s holiday. Also, we will be making every effort to remind citizens to buckle up. Alcohol and seat belt usage are contributing factors in too many crashes across the state. Our goal is to save lives this holiday season and to usher in the New Year on the right foot,” Colonel Tracy Trott said.

In 2011, an estimated 262 people died in Tennessee traffic crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. That is a 7.4 percent decline from the 283 impaired driving deaths in 2010, and a 12.4 percent decline from the 299 impaired driving deaths in 2009.

As of Dec. 27, preliminary statistics indicate that 1,000 people have died on Tennessee roadways in 2012, an increase of 70 deaths compared to 930 fatalities at this same time a year ago. An early estimate of impaired driving fatalities this year reveals that 238 people have died in vehicular crashes involving alcohol. 

Statistics for the 2011-12 New Year’s Holiday period accompany this release, along with an attachment of sobriety and driver license checkpoints scheduled throughout the holiday period.  

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s mission is (www.TN.Gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public.  The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.  




Northside Neighborhood House’s Christmas Program Provides Toys And Food To Neighbors In Need

The Northside Neighborhood House is busy gearing up for its Christmas Program. An extension of the Direct Assistance Program, the Christmas Program provides food boxes with a week’s supply of food to families living north of the river. The NNH also hosts a "Santa's Workshop", where parents can "shop" for their children, ages birth-15. Last year, 434 children received toys from ... (click for more)

CIA Consultant Mike Mears Speaks At AEGIS Law Enforcement Luncheon

The AEGIS Law Enforcement Foundation 4th Annual Luncheon will feature keynote speaker Mike Mears on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Chattanooga Hotel's Ballroom, 1201 Broad St.  Mr. Mears, a CIA leadership consultant and trainer for government and private sector organizations, will discuss ways to embrace cultural change in the community, with particular emphasis on bringing ... (click for more)

Erlanger Refinancing To Provide Cash For New Children's/Women's Hospital, $50 Million Erlanger East Expansion, $8.5 Million Surgical Improvements

Erlanger Health System officials said an overhaul of the hospital's debt will include $70 million in new loans for several major hospital projects - including $11.5 million toward a new $30 million Children's/Women's Hospital. The overall cost of the latter facility is $30 million, but the hospital is seeking significant outside gifts and support. It will also pay for a $50 million ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air; Funeral Will Be Thursday At 2 PM At Engel Stadium

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at Historic Engel Stadium, 1130 E 3rd St., at 2 p.m. with Pastor Todd McElyea officiating.   Honorary pallbearers will be the staff at ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet!

Just moments before Florida would seal a football 10-9 victory over Tennessee in early October, the student section in Neyland Stadium stooped to a new low when it vociferously chanted, “F*** you, Florida! F*** you, Florida!” It was shocking, a loud and vulgar display of all that sportsmanship isn’t, and served as a great embarrassment to Knoxville and the university. Jimmy Cheek, ... (click for more)