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.  



IRONKIDS Chattanooga Fun Run Is Saturday

UnitedHealthcare will sponsor the IRONKIDS Chattanooga Fun Run on Saturday at Ross’s Landing. The UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS Chattanooga Fun Run gives children ages 3 to 13 the opportunity to run on the same course as Little Debbie IRONMAN Chattanooga presented by McKee A Family Bakery athletes.  The one-mile and half-mile runs are for “triathletes-to-be” and aim ... (click for more)

Vine Street To Be Closed Through End Of Year For Dormitory Construction

Vine Street will be closed between Houston Street and Douglas Street for dormitory construction. The closure will be in place until  Dec. 31 . (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Apartment Building Fire

More than a dozen people were forced from their homes early Thursday morning when fire broke out in their apartment building.   The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at  2:58 a.m.  and responded to Rainbow Creek Apartments at  7604 Standifer Gap Road  with six fire companies. Seeing a significant amount of fire upon arrival, a ... (click for more)

Lone Survivor Of Lookout Valley Massacre Says He Is 100% Sure Morse Was One Of Shooters; Detective Tells Of Retrieving Guns

The lone survivor of a massacre at a Lookout Valley trailer park on April 9, 2014, testified Wednesday that he is 100 percent sure that Derek Morse was one of the two shooters. Matthew Callam said he was thrown off initially by the fact that Morse had facial hair at the time, but he said when he was shown a recent photo of Morse soon after the incident "it was like I was looking ... (click for more)

Why The Ed Johnson Memorial Matters To Me, A Libertarian

I have seen a lot of responses to the question of whether or not our city and county should financially support the Ed Johnson Memorial at the Walnut Street bridge. Some fully support government pitching in and some say that private individuals and civic organizations should pitch in. Both are correct.  Our city has become a very sought after place to live. From our hometown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: McQueen & Her TVAAS

If I am reading my Ouija Board right, I suspect the Hamilton County School Board will vote to allow a controversial “partnership” to be formed with the state Board of Education tonight at its monthly meeting. State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has said she will demand the one-sided partnership to take over the operation of five at-risk schools in Hamilton County and, if ... (click for more)