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.

Harvest Festival In Menlo Park Community Is Oct. 29

There will be a Harvest Festival in the Menlo Park Community in Brainerd on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. The event will be held at Greater Emmanuel Church, 400 Tunnel Blvd., and everyone is invited to attend this free event.   Activities will include Trunk or Treat, carnival games, face painting, bounce houses and other entertainment.  Free winter coats ... (click for more)

Tennessee Highway Safety Office Promotes National Drug Take Back Initiative

In efforts to prevent drugged-impaired driving statewide, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office encourages Tennesseans to participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back initiative on Saturday. THSO asks residents to dispose of unused and/or outdated prescription drugs to help prevent the illegal use and abuse of prescription drugs by ... (click for more)

City Council Set To Act Tuesday Night On First Reading On Short Term Vacation Rentals

The City Council is set to take action on first reading on Tuesday night on a process to legalize short term vacation rentals in Chattanooga. The second and final reading is set for the following Tuesday. The final version comes after several public hearings and extensive discussion by the City Council and staff. Short term vacation rentals will be allowed in residences with ... (click for more)

16,858 Cast Ballots In First 3 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first three days of early voting in Hamilton County, 16,858 have already cast ballots. That includes 1,607 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011. Sites: Brainerd 1,084, 1080, 1,030 Election Office 1,848, 1,731, 1,698 Collegedale 956, 954, ... (click for more)

Please, No Short Term Vacation Rentals In My Neighborhood

Approval of the short term vacation rental item on the City Council agenda for Tuesday  will be the next step toward commercializing our residential properties and communities to benefit those more interested in making money than preserving an old, well-established, rich community of like-minded families.    Anything requiring a business license is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Could Win It

I am neither a sleuth nor an odds maker but I’d say there is about a one-in-three chance that Interim Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Kirk Kelly could become the permanent superintendent of our public schools next Thursday. I am assured something squirrelly is happening on our newly-seated school board. It has been seven months since the last superintendent ... (click for more)