Press Releases

Gibbons Names New Chief of Staff

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; February 2, 2015:

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons today announced the appointment of David McGriff as his chief of staff. McGriff, who served as interim Deputy Commissioner in early 2011, will begin his new role effective immediately.

“David brings a wealth of state government and law enforcement experience to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Since 2011, he has been a trusted member of my staff twice on an interim basis, and I am pleased that he has agreed to join the department full-time,” Commissioner Gibbons said. “His leadership skills, hands-on approach and counsel will be invaluable as we continue to ensure the safety and security of Tennessee,” he added.

McGriff also served as a consultant to the department from July 2013 to March 2014. During that time, he evaluated and provided recommendations for processes in the state’s driver services centers.

As chief of staff, McGriff will act as top advisor to Commissioner Gibbons. He will oversee the day-to-day operations in the department and work closely with the assistant commissioners of the Administrative Division, Driver Services Division and Office of Homeland Security, as well as the colonel of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

McGriff comes to the department after having spent six-plus years as the Director of the West Tennessee Drug Task Force (WTDTF), as well as the Chief Criminal Investigator for the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, he was Deputy Director for the West TN Drug Task Force from 2001 to 2007.  McGriff also worked as a task force supervisor for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and criminal investigator for the District Attorney General for the 30th Judicial District.

McGriff began his law enforcement career as a police officer for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia in 1969. He joined the Memphis Police Department as an officer in 1974.

A 44-year veteran law enforcement official, McGriff is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and member of the FBI National Academy Association and Metropolitan Area Chiefs of Police Association.

McGriff also served in the United States Marine Corps.

Press Releases

Trooper Resigns from THP Following Domestic Assault Charge

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security; September 19, 2014:

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott announced Friday that a Tennessee state trooper in the Fall Branch District resigned from the department in lieu of termination following an internal investigation into an arrest on domestic assault charges.

The Johnson City Police Department charged Trooper Russel Holtsclaw, 28, with aggravated domestic assault on August 10 following a reported incident at his residence. The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) placed Holtsclaw on administrative leave that same day. The department’s Investigative Services Bureau opened an internal investigation into the incident. All departmental equipment including weapons, badges and commission card were secured pending the investigation.

The department’s internal investigation resulted in the decision to terminate Holtsclaw. However, on Friday Holtsclaw resigned employment in lieu of termination. He has been assigned as a trooper to the Fall Branch District in east Tennessee since joining the department in January 2012.

The criminal case against Holtsclaw is pending.

“Allegations of domestic violence are absolutely not tolerated in the Tennessee Highway Patrol,” Colonel Trott said. “Regardless of the outcome of the pending criminal case, our investigation concludes that this trooper clearly violated policies of the department and his behavior is unacceptable for anyone who wears the THP badge,” Trott stated.

“We will continue to act quickly to respond to any allegations of domestic assault, conduct thorough investigations, and swiftly discipline employees of this department who commit such acts of violence,” Commissioner Gibbons said. “The actions of this one trooper do not reflect those of the men and women of the Tennessee Highway Patrol,” he added.

Press Releases

Witnesses Announced for Mid-Sept Criminal Justice Reform Hearing

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus; August 26, 2014:

(NASHVILLE, TN) August 26, 2014 – Senator Brian Kelsey today released the names of the witnesses scheduled to testify regarding proposed criminal justice reforms in Tennessee. The hearing will occur before the Senate Judiciary Committee September 15 – 16.

“These experts will help us learn from other states how to best protect the public while saving taxpayer dollars. Our committee is privileged to partner with such talented witnesses in the effort to improve the criminal justice system in Tennessee,” explained Senator Kelsey.

The witnesses will provide testimony on the following three subjects: 1) Criminal Justice Reform: How we got where we are in Tennessee, 2) Criminal Justice Reform: What other states have done, and 3) Criminal Justice Reform: Suggested changes for Tennessee.

The scheduled witnesses for the hearings are as follows:

  • Sheriff Robert Arnold, Rutherford County
  • Beth Ashe, Executive Director, Tennessee Corrections Institute
  • Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper
  • District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant, 25th Judicial District, Fayette, Hardeman, Lauderdale, McNairy, and Tipton Counties
  • Paige Edwards, Tennessee Public Defender’s Conference
  • Rebecca Silber and Nancy Fishman, VERA Institute of Justice
  • Tommy Francis, Tennessee State Employees Association
  • Mayor Terry Frank, Anderson County, Tennessee
  • Commissioner Bill Gibbons, Tennessee Department of Safety
  • Mark Gwyn, Director, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
  • Marc Levin, Director, Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Mayor Mark Luttrell, Shelby County, Tennessee
  • John G. Malcolm, Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies
  • Richard Montgomery, Chairman, Tennessee Board of Parole
  • Justin Owen, President/CEO, Beacon Center of Tennessee
  • Chief David Rausch, Knoxville Police Department
  • David Raybin, Esq., criminal defense attorney
  • Justyna Scalpone, Tennessee Office of the Post-Conviction Defender
  • Commissioner Derrick D. Schofield, Tennessee Department of Correction
  • Chris Slobogin, Professor, Vanderbilt College of Law; member, Tennessee Consultation on Criminal Justice
  • District Attorney General Barry Staubus, 2nd Judicial District, Sullivan County, Tennessee
  • Thomas E. Tique, Chief Deputy Attorney, Tennessee General Assembly Office of Legal Services
  • Commissioner E. Douglas Varney, Tennessee Department of Mental Health
  • Hedy Weinberg, Executive Director, ACLU of Tennessee
  • Charlie White, Director, Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents
  • Judge John Everett Williams, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals

Senator Kelsey represents Cordova, East Memphis, and Germantown. He is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Press Releases

Haslam Creates Task Force on Sentencing, Recidivism

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 14, 2014:

Group to develop legislative and policy recommendations

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the formation of the Governor’s Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism as part of the administration’s overall effort to reduce crime and improve public safety.

In June, the Governor’s Public Safety Subcabinet announced a partnership with the Vera Institute of Justice to review sentencing and correction policies and practices. The creation of a task force is the next step in that collaboration.

“We have put a strong emphasis on addressing some of our state’s toughest safety challenges head on, and the Public Safety Subcabinet is doing great work,” Haslam said. “This task force is a next step in making sure we have a comprehensive approach to public safety in Tennessee. I am grateful to the Tennesseans who have agreed to dedicate their time to these issues, and I look forward to their recommendations.”

Members of the task force include:

  • John Campbell, criminal court judge, Memphis
  • John DeBerry, state representative, Memphis
  • James Dunn, district attorney general, 4th judicial district
  • Tim Fuller, sheriff, Franklin County
  • Bill Gibbons, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
  • Mark Gwyn, director, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
  • Kim Helper, district attorney general, 21st judicial district
  • Torry Johnson, district attorney general (retired), Nashville
  • Brian Kelsey, state senator, Germantown
  • William Lamberth, state representative, Cottontown
  • Linda Leathers, chief executive officer, The Next Door
  • William B. Lee, chief executive officer, Lee Company of Tennessee
  • Jon Lundberg, state representative, Bristol
  • Mark Luttrell, mayor, Shelby County
  • Becky Duncan Massey, state senator, Knoxville
  • Gerald Melton, public defender, 16th judicial district
  • Richard Montgomery, chairman, Tennessee Board of Parole
  • Seth Norman, criminal court judge, Nashville
  • Bill Oldham, sheriff, Shelby County
  • David Rausch, chief of police, Knoxville
  • Derrick Schofield, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Correction
  • John Stevens, state senator, Huntingdon
  • Blair Taylor, president, Memphis Tomorrow
  • D. Kelly Thomas, court of criminal appeals judge, Knoxville
  • Doug Varney, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  • Amy Weirich, district attorney general, Shelby County
  • Verna Wyatt, executive director, Tennessee Voices for Victims

The current sentencing structure in Tennessee has been in place for more than 20 years. An examination will ensure that the structure is in line with the variety and severity of criminal behavior. Establishing an effective set of sentencing laws can resolve inconsistencies and avoid discrepancies that compromise public safety.

The task force will receive assistance from the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections. Vera staff will conduct data and policy analysis; identify expertise and resources to support the work of the task force; facilitate meetings and assist in the development of the task force recommendations.

The Vera Institute of Justice is a national, independent, non-partisan justice policy and research organization based in New York. Vera has decades of experience partnering with state and local governments across the United States to improve justice systems.

The task force will submit its recommendations to the Governor’s Public Safety Subcabinet by June 2015.

The subcabinet was created by Haslam in 2011 and launched a multi-year public safety action plan in 2012. The group includes commissioners of the departments of Safety and Homeland Security, Correction, Mental Health, Children’s Services, Health and Military, along with the chairman of the Tennessee Board of Parole, directors of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Office of Criminal Justice Programs, Law Enforcement Training Academy and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Press Releases

TFA Open Records Request Reveals Fiscal Note Process Manipulated on Open Carry

Press release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; July 14, 2014:

Nashville, TN – After a series of ‘Open Records Requests’ the Tennessee Firearms Association has uncovered documented evidence of misleading statements and the falsifying of a contrived fiscal note. These questionable actions were carried out by members of the Haslam Administration during the 2014 legislative session in an attempt to kill a pro-gun bill.

“This was apparently a deliberate ploy to kill legislation that the Haslam Administration opposed by misrepresenting the effect of the bill to the legislators,” noted John Harris, Executive Director of the Tennessee Firearms Association. “Underhanded tactics such as this are unacceptable and Governor Haslam owes the citizens of Tennessee an explanation.”

The fiscal note fiasco started earlier this year when Sen. Mae Beavers and Rep. Micah Van Huss sponsored legislation to allow the open carry of handguns without a permit. The bill passed the Senate 25-2 (SB2424), despite behind the scenes opposition from the Haslam Administration. As the open carry bill moved through the House after passing in the Senate, it was delayed and then voted down in a Finance Sub-Committee after having a false fiscal note attached. The full House of Representative never considered the bill because of the shenanigans involving the false fiscal note in House Finance.

The fiscal note, added by the Administration, claimed that the open carry bill would cost the state government $100,000 by requiring that the word “concealed” be added to every valid handgun permit in Tennessee. However, the bill itself contained no such requirement. When pressed, the Department of Safety responded that departmental policy required adding the word “concealed” to the permits. However, when a request was made for the specific policy, the Department of Safety admitted that no such policy actually existed.

Almost 3,000 pages of state documents obtained by the Tennessee Firearms Association through the Open Records Requests reveal that a Haslam administration official, Bill Hedge, citing the non-existent “departmental policy” on behalf of the Tennessee Department of Safety, estimated that it would cost the State $100,000 to add the word “concealed” when handgun permits are printed. The administration’s estimate caused a “fiscal note” to be placed on the legislation and forced it to be rerouted to the House Finance Committee which is under the control of Rep. Charles Sargent.

After a legislative amendment (HA1127) was introduced to prohibit the Administration’s proposal to add the word “concealed” on each permit, Mr. Hedge defiantly declared in an April 8, 2014, e-mail that:

“Even though the amendment removed the requirement, the department by policy will in fact continue the designation of ‘Concealed’ on the Handgun Carry Permit….I am certifying that the department will in fact incur the (costs) to reflect the ‘concealed’ provision….”

Further, when pressed concerning which department policy required such a change, the Department of Safety admitted that it had misrepresented that there was an existing departmental policy as reflecting in an e-mail from Bill Hedge dated April 14, 2014:

“Currently, a written policy concerning information contained on the permit, including the ‘title’ of the document, does not exist.”

More significantly, the Open Records Requests revealed that the Department of Safety is under a multi-million dollar contract with a third party, L-1 Credentialing, Inc., to design and print the handgun permits along with other similar official state documents. That contract requires the third party to make changes in the design and format of the permits at no additional charge to state government. Department of Safety documents do not reference this contract in discussing the $100,000 estimate by Hedge nor do they detail why it would cost $100,000 to print the word “concealed” on the handgun permits even after the proposed legislation it was made clear by the sponsors that the legislation did not alter the handgun permits or convert them into concealed carry permits. The documents also reveal that the Haslam Administration was actively fighting the bill, that Department of Safety officials were working to stop the bill by creating estimates of printing costs, and that certain legislators were involved to create a fiscal note ensuring that the bill was rerouted to the House Finance Committee.

After the false Administration estimate was attached to the bill as a fiscal note, House rules required that the bill be considered by Charles Sargent’s Finance Committee because it had a (falsely) estimated cost to state government. Bill Gibbons, Commissioner of the Department of Safety, testified under oath that the legislation would add a concealment requirement to Tennessee’s handgun permits and that it would cost approximately $100,000 to start printing the word “concealed” on the handgun permits. The documents obtained in response to the Open Records Requests suggest that Commissioner Gibbons’ sworn testimony to the House Finance subcommittee was false in both respects. Mr. Gibbons’ testimony can be viewed here:

Legislative records indicate that the House Finance subcommittee knew that Gibbons’ testimony was false or misleading because the chairman announced just prior to the committee vote that they would assume a zero fiscal impact to the state for purposes of their votes on the legislation. Then, 10 members of the House Finance committee refused to allow the legislation to be moved forward thus prohibiting it from consideration by all members of the House of Representatives.

A complete and detailed write up, including source documents, will be available on the TFA web site soon:

The Tennessee Firearms Association was founded in 1995 and formed to defend the right to keep and bear arms in Tennessee. The TFA is Tennessee’s only no-compromise gun group.

Press Releases

THP Announces ‘No Refusal’ Enforcement for Labor Day Weekend

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security; August 27, 2013:

NASHVILLE-— Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott today announced plans for a “No Refusal” enforcement campaign during the Labor Day holiday weekend. This special enforcement will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 30 and conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 2.

The “No Refusal” enforcement will be conducted in 11 counties across the state, and is aimed at deterring impaired driving and reducing fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways. The “No Refusal” legislation allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers.

“The ultimate goal is to save lives on Tennessee roadways. This targeted ‘No Refusal’ enforcement gives law enforcement and prosecutors another tool to hold drunk drivers accountable,” Commissioner Gibbons said.

The participating “No Refusal” counties include Roane (Knoxville District); Marion, McMinn, Meigs and Sequatchie (Chattanooga District); Rutherford (Nashville District); Fayette (Memphis District); Carter (Fall Branch District); Putnam (Cookeville District); Giles (Lawrenceburg District); and Henry County (Jackson District).

During the 2012 Labor Day holiday, 12 people were killed in 11 fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways. That’s the same as the 11 vehicular fatalities in 2010. Last year, alcohol was involved in two of the fatalities, and 64 percent of vehicle occupants killed were not wearing safety restraints.

“DUI is one of the categories targeted throughout the year and especially during the holidays,” Colonel Trott said. “During this ‘No Refusal’ campaign, we will focus our resources on specific areas and high-crash corridors across the state. Our high-visibility enforcement effort, which includes saturation patrols, bar and tavern checks and sobriety checkpoints, will help remove impaired drivers from the Tennessee roadways.”

Colonel Trott also noted the number of DUI arrests made by State Troopers in 2013. Troopers have arrested 3,728 individuals for impaired driving from January 1 through August 24, 2013. In 2012, the number of arrests made during that time was 3,414. That’s a nine percent increase during the same dates.

In Tennessee, the preliminary number of alcohol-related crashes has decreased 9.2 percent through the first seven months of 2013, compared to that same time period last year. From January through July of 2013, there have been 3,904 crashes involving impaired drivers. That is 361 fewer than the 4,265 crashes during those same dates in 2012.

Seat belt usage is another contributing factor in crashes across the state. To date this year, 49 percent of vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing safety restraints.

Overall, as of August 27, 2013, preliminary statistics indicate 630 people have died on Tennessee roadways, a decrease of nearly eight percent compared to the 684 fatalities at this same time last year.

A list of the scheduled “No Refusal” and Labor Day enforcement checkpoints are attached. A 2013 Labor Day holiday statistical sheet also accompanies this release.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure that our state is a safe, secure place in which to live, work and travel; enforce the law with integrity; and provide customer-focused services professionally and efficiently.

Labor Day Weekend “No Refusal” checkpoints.
Labor Day 2012 Statistical FatalityReport.

Press Releases

DMV Wait-Times Down, Gun Permits Up: TN Dept. of Safety

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; July 18, 2013:

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced that the average wait time at state driver services centers has decreased so far this year compared to 2012.

The average wait time from January 1 – June 30 at centers statewide, excluding reinstatement centers, fell from 34 minutes in 2012 to 31.5 minutes in 2013. There was a slight increase, however, from the first quarter of 2013 in which the average wait time was 30.5 minutes compared to the second quarter when the wait time averaged 32 minutes.

The decrease in wait time for the first six months happened while the number of statewide transactions at driver services centers increased. Driver license examiners served 621,405 customers from January 1 – June 30, 2012. In the first six months of 2013, the number of customers grew to 626,211.

“We are monitoring these figures very closely. Reducing the wait time at our driver service centers is a priority so when we experience an increase we act immediately to identify the reasons,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.

Gibbons attributed the increase in the second quarter of 2013 in part to the increase in handgun carry permit applications as well as the installation of new equipment.

During the first six months of 2013, the department accepted 86,334 handgun carry permit applications at driver services centers, compared to 40,503 applications accepted during the first six months of 2012. That is an increase of 113 percent.

The department continues to install new equipment and software at all driver services centers in preparation for a new central issuance process of issuing driver licenses. While this new process is expected to help reduce wait times in the future, the installation of the equipment is causing some delays.

The Driver Services Division is also in the process of hiring additional part-time employees to help the centers at peak hours. Funding for the positions was appropriated in the current state budget.

“The new equipment and additional staff should help us in the long term provide better and more efficient service to our customers,” Gibbons noted.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure that our state is a safe, secure place in which to live, work and travel; enforce the law with integrity; and provide customer-focused services professionally and efficiently.

Liberty and Justice NewsTracker

Safety Dept. Commissioner Denounces Long TN Driver’s License Lines

Shelby County is home to the worst performing driver’s license station in the state, according to the agency in charge of license renewals.

But state officials want to change that, by rolling out self-serve iPad stations, outfitting stations with more equipment, and improving the training for workers at the 51 driver’s service centers across the state. They’re also trying to make it easier for residents to never enter those centers, by completing simple transactions over the Internet and visiting in-person only for more complex issues.

Meanwhile, drivers coming to the station on East Shelby Drive in Shelby County can count on being in line 86 minutes on average, the longest wait time in the state, according to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

“Obviously, that is unacceptable,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said during a state budget hearing Nov. 6. (View the agency’s budget summary here.)

The state’s goal is to have all its centers performing with wait times of 20 minutes or less and visit times – including the time it takes to actually complete the transaction – of 35 minutes or less. Gibbons said 20 of its centers had met the wait time goal and 25 had met the visit time standard.

The state is in the process of upgrading its 30-year-old driver’s license computer system, though it won’t be in place for at least three years, Gibbons said. And it’s also taking steps like bringing in managers from outside the agency and rolling out more equipment to each station.

“Every driver service center has one copier and one camera,” Gibbons said. “If either malfunctions that center essentially shuts down.”

The department is also experimenting with adding part-time employees to ease wait times during peak times of day.


Fmr. Safety Dept. Employee Admits Taking $20K in Bribes for Licenses, Permits

A former Tennessee Department of Safety employee pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to one count of accepting more than $5,000 in bribes related to issuing driver’s licenses and permits to unauthorized individuals.

Larry Murphy, 54, of Antioch, had been charged with one count of accepting bribes and one count of conspiracy to produce identification documents without lawful authority while employed as a supervisory license examiner for the Department of Safety at the Hart Lane licensing facility in Nashville, according to court documents.

Murphy, a Gulf War veteran and Army retiree, was indicted, along with co-defendant Anny Castillo-Diaz, in May, following a five-month joint investigation by the FBI, the Federal Department of Homeland Security and the Tennessee Department of Safety, according to court documents.

The indictment charged that Murphy had accepted bribes from Castillo in order to produce driver’s licenses and permits for individuals who had either not taken or not passed the necessary exams.

At his hearing in Nashville before U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp, Murphy admitted that during the period between December 2011 and April 2012 he had unlawfully received at least $20,000 in bribes for issuing unauthorized licenses and permits, including special commercial permits for large trucks.

Many of these transactions occurred while being recorded by undercover agents posing as customers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Middle District of Tennessee.

According to his plea agreement, Murphy must forfeit all compensation received for the licenses issued.

“The defendant not only violated the law, he put the public’s safety at risk,” Bill Gibbons, commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security, said in a news release. “That behavior will not be tolerated.

Murphy’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 15. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Castillo, who is charged with paying bribes, conspiracy to produce identification documents without lawful authority, unlawful sale of U.S. citizenship documents and the sale of a Social Security card, had been scheduled to go to trial Tuesday morning, according to court documents.

However, she made a motion for a change of plea to guilty, and a hearing on that motion is now scheduled for today.

Alex Harris is with the Seigenthaler News Service-MTSU. He can be reached at

Featured Liberty and Justice NewsTracker

Gibbons: State Panel Wants To ‘Streamline’ DUI Law

Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons says the state is getting closer to overhauling the state’s DUI statutes, but he doubts the first round of changes will add any new teeth to the laws.

Gibbons said down the line he and a committee of state and local officials may consider recommending changes in the law like mandatory rehab for people convicted of DUI. But he said it was too soon whether the group would float that plan with the Legislature next year.

“Right now, our DUI law is 58 pages long. That’s compared to an 18-page first-degree murder death penalty statute. So, it’s very complicated,” he told reporters Tuesday at a law enforcement conference in Nashville.

The priority, he said, is to “streamline” the current DUI laws to make them easier for defense lawyers, district attorneys and the public to understand.

That revision could surface as early as the 2013 legislative session, although Gibbons gave no promises the language would be ready by then. Any significant additions to the policy might not be ready for another year after that, Gibbons said.

The revisions are part of a multi-year public safety action plan Gibbons has spearheaded as chairman of the Public Safety Subcabinet Working Group. The group is made up of Department of Safety attorneys, representatives from the District Attorneys Generals Conference, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

DUI enforcement is one of Gibbons’ priorities as commissioner. Gibbons, a former Memphis district attorney and failed Republican gubernatorial candidate, bragged to the Southeastern Colonel’s Conference in Nashville Tuesday about the state’s beefed up DUI enforcement since he took office.

According to the department, trooper arrests of DUI suspects are up 29 percent, or 800 arrests, from this time last year. By mid-August of 2011, troopers had made 2,757 arrests for impaired driving, compared to 3,557 the same time this year.