Tennessee Highway Patrol Reminds Motorists To Act Responsibly During St. Patrick Holiday

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reminded motorists to buckle up and drive sober during upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday.  State troopers will utilize traffic safety enforcement tools, such as saturation patrols and sobriety and seat belt checkpoints, in an effort to reduce serious injury crashes and fatal wrecks during this popular 48-hour holiday period. 

The 2014 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period will begin at midnight, Sunday, and end at 11:59 p.m., Monday. However, THP personnel have enforcement activities planned throughout the weekend, starting on Friday.

Last year, 13 people died in vehicular crashes during the 72-hour St. Patty’s Day holiday period. Of the 13 fatalities, six were vehicle occupants and four (66.7 percent) were not wearing safety restraints. Five of the vehicular deaths were motorcycle riders and two were all-terrain vehicle occupants. Four of the fatalities (30.8 percent) occurred in an alcohol-related crash.

“We have a responsibility to help ensure the public’s safety, and we hope our visibility and enforcement techniques will encourage motorists to obey traffic laws, specifically, wearing your seat belt. We can prevent many senseless deaths if people would just buckle up,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “State troopers will also aggressively seek out drunk or distracted drivers this holiday weekend,” he added. 

During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day 72-hour enforcement period, the THP made 72 impaired driving arrests statewide. Since Jan. 1, state troopers have arrested 1,535 DUI violators, a 38.2 percent increase from the 1,111 arrests made at this same time a year ago. 

In 2014, preliminary statistics indicate that 158 people have died on Tennessee roadways, compared to 164 fatalities during the same time period in 2013. 

Scheduled checkpoints for the St. Patrick’s Day Holiday are attached, as well as statistical data for St. Patrick’s Day 2013.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY DRIVING TIPS:

Plan Ahead. If you plan to drink, arrange a safe way home before the festivities begin. 

Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.

If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use public transportation, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. 

Use the local Sober Ride program.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, promptly contact your local law enforcement agency or dial *THP. 

Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you or someone who is about to ride with someone who is impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

And remember, the tragedies and costs of driving drunk are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for drunk driving are significant.

For more information on the consequences of impaired driving in Tennessee, visit http://tn.gov/safety/duioutline.htm.


Jazzanooga 1 Year Anniversary Celebration On MLK

December marks the one year anniversary of the opening of Jazzanooga’s historic MLK Boulevard location, the Jazzanooga Arts Space. "Jazzanooga continues to offer a diverse range of artistic expression that builds on our city’s rich cultural heritage and they have planned an exciting weekend of music featuring local and regional performers to celebrate the occasion," officials ... (click for more)

Holiday All-Nighter For Animals And Home For The Holidays Or Bust

Volunteers and staff members of two local animal shelters, McKamey Animal Center and the Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga, are teaming up to help as many animals as possible find a home for the holidays. The staff and volunteers will be putting in a "Holiday All-Nighter" on Friday, Dec. 16 from noon-midnight. For twelve hours non-stop, the shelters will be adopting animals ... (click for more)

Curtis Coleman Sentenced To 144 Months For Dealing Heroin

Curtis Allen Coleman, 41, of Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison by Federal Judge Travis R. McDonough for heroin distribution in Chattanooga. Coleman pleaded guilty in August to a federal indictment charging him with, among other things, conspiracy to distribute heroin.  According to information on file with the United States District ... (click for more)

Red Cross Continues Tornado Relief In Southeast Tennessee

After tornadoes and strong straight-line winds moved through Southeast Tennessee on Tuesday evening, Red Cross mobilized more than 70 volunteers, provided shelter for displaced residents, and is working to ensure that emergency needs are being met for everyone who was affected.   “We are working very closely with our local Emergency Management Agencies and community partners ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our Schools Stink

Cheryl Roddy has spent her lifetime, for the biggest part, as a teacher for the Hamilton County Department of Education and, more specifically, at East Ridge High School. She has loved teaching there for nearly 40 years and is hardly “average;” she has her master's degree in education, was twice East Ridge’s teacher of the year, was the first teacher at East Ridge to reach the first ... (click for more)