Tennessee Highway Patrol Announces Labor Day Holiday Enforcement

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will conduct a “No Refusal” enforcement campaign during this year’s Labor Day holiday period. This special enforcement effort will begin at midnight on Friday, and conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 1.

The “No Refusal” legislation allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers.

“Law enforcement officials have another tool to utilize to deter impaired driving and reduce fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways by conducting ‘No Refusal’ enforcements,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “We have chosen to implement this enforcement in each of the eight highway patrol districts, and with the help of various local law enforcement agencies across the state. The ultimate goal is remove drunk drivers from our roadways and to save lives,” he added.

State troopers will conduct “No Refusal” enforcement in the following counties: Union (Knoxville District); Hamilton and Marion (Chattanooga District); Montgomery (Nashville District); Shelby (Memphis District); Hawkins (Fall Branch District); Smith (Cookeville); Maury (Lawrenceburg); and Hardin County (Jackson District). 

In addition to “No Refusal” enforcement, highway patrol personnel will also conduct driver’s license, sobriety and seat belt checkpoints, as well as saturation patrols and bar and tavern checks.

“Our district captains have created enforcement plans specific to their regions. So, there will be a variety of specialized enforcement during Labor Day, including distracted driving, commercial vehicle safety, and Move Over enforcement, for example. However, the priority is always on impaired driving and seat belt enforcement,” Colonel Trott said.

During the 2013 Labor Day holiday, 16 people were killed in 15 fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways. That is up from the 13 vehicular fatalities in 2012. Last year, alcohol was involved in six (38%) of the fatal incidents, and six of the 10 (60%) vehicle occupants killed were not wearing safety restraints. Four motorcyclists, one all-terrain vehicle rider and one pedestrian were also killed. 

Preliminary figures indicate there have been 3,981 crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers in Tennessee from January 1 through Aug. 15. That is 339 fewer (7.8% decrease) than the 4,320 crashes during those same dates in 2013.

Seat belt usage is another contributing factor in crashes across the state. To date this year, 50 percent of vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing safety restraints.

Colonel Trott also noted the number of DUI arrests made by state troopers in 2014. Troopers have arrested 5,310 individuals for impaired driving from January 1 through Aug. 15. In 2013, the number of arrests made during that time was 3,973. That’s a 34 percent increase during the same dates.


Shakespeare Chattanooga Reads Classic Tragedy/History Julius Caesar On Ides Of March

Shakespeare Chattanooga performs a reading of the Bard’s Julius Caesar, the second play in the company’s three-play series at The Highland Center in Brainerd. The reading will take place at the Highland Center, 104 N. Tuxedo Ave., at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.  Suggested donation is $5. Directed by Shakespeare Chattanooga Producing Director Janis Hashe, the cast includes ... (click for more)

Hixson Kiwanis Club Hears Of Mentoring Program At High Schools

Patrick Hampton of Goodwill of Chattanooga discussed a mentoring program at area high schools in a speech to the Hixson Kiwanis Club. The club meets 3 at Creeks Bend Golf Club. The club also discussed the upcoming Somparac Award which is presented annually to a person who has served the Hixson community.  The award is named in honor of longtime Hixson Kiwanian, the late ... (click for more)

2 Hit While Walking On Birmingham Highway; 1 Dies At The Hospital

Two pedestrians were struck by a single vehicle on Highway 11 (Birmingham Highway) in Lookout Valley on Tuesday night. One of those who was struck died after being taken to a local hospital. Police said the other person who was hit was responsive. The incident happened shortly after 7 p.m. at 261 Birmingham Hwy. which is in the area of the Lookout Valley Cracker ... (click for more)

Henry Hopes To Bring E-Filing To Clerk's Office This Year; Saving Almost $222,000 On Personnel

Circuit Court Clerk Larry Henry said he hopes to bring E-Filing of documents and other court papers to the clerk’s office this year.   He said at first it appeared it might take much longer, but that progress is being made to the online program. Mr. Henry told members of the Pachyderm Club that attorneys, litigants and members of the public would be able to go online to ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform - And Response

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Happy Birthday, Mr. Berg

This past Monday we should have closed the Post Office, let kids out of school, and lowered our flags to half-mast. March 2 is the anniversary of Moe Berg’s birthday and the legendary Casey Stengel once said Moe was “the strangest man ever to play baseball.” Moe played major league baseball for 16 years, finishing with the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and a lifetime batting average of ... (click for more)