NASHVILLE — Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Tracy Trott today announced that state troopers will increase visibility and traffic safety enforcement efforts during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The 48-hour traffic safety campaign will begin at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, March 17 and conclude at midnight, Wednesday, March 18.
“St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally a very festive holiday, and we want to remind motorists that drinking and driving will not be tolerated. State troopers will proactively enforce DUI laws to help prevent fatal crashes and save lives across Tennessee,” Colonel Trott said. “Seat belt safety is also a top priority. We will aggressively seek seat belt violators – another major cause of traffic fatalities – across the state,” he added.
Last year, four people were killed in vehicular crashes during the 48-hour St. Patty’s Day holiday period. One of the traffic fatalities occurred in an alcohol-related crash, while none of the four individuals killed were wearing safety restraints.
The THP arrested 54 individuals on suspicion of impaired driving and issued 416 seat belt citations statewide during last year’s St. Patty’s Day holiday period.
During this St. Patrick’s holiday, state troopers will utilize traffic enforcement tools, such as, sobriety and seat belt checkpoints, saturation patrols and bar and tavern checks to maximize public safety on Tennessee roadways.
To date, preliminary statistics indicate that 157 people have died on Tennessee roadways in 2015, compared to 171 traffic fatalities during the same time period in 2014.
THP scheduled enforcements for this St. Patrick’s Day holiday are attached, as well as statistical data for the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day period.
For more information on the consequences of impaired driving in Tennessee, visit http://tn.gov/safety/duioutline.htm.
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 (*847) from a mobile phone.
- 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.
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