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.  



Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute On Tuesday At UTC Postponed, Due To Inclement Weather

" O, King: A Tribute to the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," scheduled for  7:30 p.m. on  Tuesday,  in UTC's Roland Hayes Concert Hall, has been postponed due to the threat of snow and icy conditions. It will be rescheduled. (click for more)

Ochs Highway Closed In St. Elmo Due To Water Main Break

Ochs Highway is closed at the intersection of Saint Elmo Avenue due to a main water break.   The road is scheduled to reopen on  Thursday . Detours are set up using Alabama Avenue and West 41st Street.  In order to view a map of these  closures , visit  http://www.chattanooga. gov/transportation/ traffic ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Under Winter Weather Advisory With Snow Possible; Most Schools Close

Chattanooga is under a Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday with snow possible. The front was still west of the city at daybreak. It was uncertain whether Chattanooga might just be out of the band of snow that was coating Nashville and some other Tennessee cities. Hamilton County Schools will be closed Tuesday "due to the significant threat of snow in the area during the school ... (click for more)

Man Who Led Police On Wild Chase On Jan. 12 Is Apprehended At Ooltewah

A man who led police on a wild chase on Jan. 12 has been apprehended in Ooltewah. Kenny Lynn McCulloch, 30, of 8347 Wild Fig Lane, Ooltewah, faces a slew of charges. In the Jan. 12 incident, a deputy saw a blue older-model Dodge pickup truck avoid the intersection of Bonny Oaks Drive and Lee Highway by going through the Mapco parking lot. The deputy got behind the vehicle, ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vulgar Trump & More

Nothing rankles me more than seeing obscenities and vulgarity that appears in today’s liberal media, not to dare mention our public forum. Understand, I will use “damn” when no other word will fit as well. I’ll use “hell” as an exclamation point sometimes and I also may quote an aggressor in a story where he threatens to whip another’s “ass.” But our President reached an all-time ... (click for more)