THP: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is once again participating in the national holiday enforcement campaign, â€śDrive Sober or Get Pulled Over.â€ť State Troopers will join local law enforcement agencies across the state to encourage safe driving habits and remove impaired drivers from Tennessee roadways this holiday season.
The New Yearâ€™s holiday period commences at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 30, and concludes at 11:59 p.m., Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.
â€śThis is the time of year when many people are traveling to share the holiday with family and friends,â€ť Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. â€śOur goal is for motorists to reach their destinations safely.â€ť
The holiday season is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving. During the 2010 Christmas holiday period six people were killed in traffic crashes on Tennessee roadways. That represented one death every 13 hours. Alcohol was involved in 20 percent of those crashes and two of the five (40%) vehicle occupants killed were not wearing safety restraints. According to department records, the fewest number of people were killed during last yearâ€™s New Yearâ€™s holiday period with six vehicular fatalities. Nearly 17 percent (16.7%) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-related crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nationwide impaired driving fatalities have dropped from 10,759 in 2009 to 10,228 in 2010, a 4.9 percent decline. In 2010, 283 people died in Tennessee traffic crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Thatâ€™s a 5.4 percent decline from the 299 impaired driving deaths in 2009, and a 7.5 percent decline from the 306 impaired driving deaths in 2008.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol recommends these simple tips for a safe holiday season:
Â·Plan ahead: Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
Â·If youâ€™re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
Â· Wear a seat belt in a vehicle or protective gear on a motorcycle. Itâ€™s your best defense in a crash.
Â·If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement immediately;
Â·And remember, â€śDrive Sober or Get Pulled Overâ€ť. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.