Department of Safety announces Christmas holiday enforcement
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced a reminder that the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be out in force during the Christmas Holiday period to ensure travelers reach their destination safely. State Troopers will focus their attention on impaired driving and seat belt usage during the holiday, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, December 21 and ending at midnight on Tuesday, December 25.
During the 2011 Christmas holiday, nine people were killed on Tennessee roadways in six fatal crashes. Alcohol was involved in 66 percent of those crashes and four of the eight vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts. There was also one pedestrian killed during the 96-hour holiday period.
The holiday season is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving. The THP will utilize several enforcement tools, including saturation patrols, bar and tavern checks, and driver license and sobriety checkpoints to help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes over the holiday.
Designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are just two of the several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other important tips include:
Â·Plan ahead: Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your 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·Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to the Tennessee Highway Patrol by dialing *THP;
Â·Wearing your seat belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver;
Â·And remember, Friends Donâ€™t Let Friends Drive Drunk. 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.
The Tennessee Department of Safetyâ€™s mission is (www.TN.Gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.