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.


BASF Honors Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue Service

BASF thanked the men and women of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue Service with a $1,500 donation as a part of this year’s Chattanooga Safety Day. Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger joined BASF employees at the company’s Amnicola site to highlight the dedication and volunteer service of the Rescue Service personnel in both the Hamilton County and Chattanooga areas. Leaders ... (click for more)

DPD Launching Operation Thumbs Up In October

The Dalton Police Department is turning October into “Distractober” as it launches Operation Thumbs Up, a month long education and enforcement campaign aimed at reducing distracted driving on the streets. The idea is to keep thumbs off of phones (or any other distraction) so drivers can focus on the road. During October, the agency’s Traffic Unit will be working with the patrol ... (click for more)

Sharply-Divided City Council Approves Office Reorganization; Councilman Freeman Calls Move "Evil, Hellish"

A sharply-divided City Council on Tuesday voted 5-4 to completely reorganize the council office, leaving current staffers without a job down the road but with the option to reapply. Councilman Moses Freeman called the move "evil" and "hellish." He said, "We are punishing somebody on a personal level," though he said the office has been running smoothly. Saying the majority ... (click for more)

DA Sets Up Process To Review 120 Cold Cases Murders Dating Back 40 Years

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a morning press conference on Tuesday that he is setting up a process to review 120 cold case murders in Hamilton County dating back some 40 years. He said former city major crimes detective Mike Mathis will be working out of his office on the cases. He is familiar with most or all of the cases, it was stated. DA Pinkston said Sgt. Bill ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Can Never Go Home

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston sparked top-ranked Florida State to a 56-41 comeback over N.C. State last Saturday, you would have thought the world had forgotten and virtually excused his vulgar rant from the week before. His inexcusable mid-week antics kept him sidelined during the Clemson game and brought down the nation’s scorn but less than a week later he was ... (click for more)