Tennessee Highway Patrol Reminds Motorists to Make Safe Choices During the St. Patrick’s Day Holiday

Friday, March 17, 2017 | 12:00pm

NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) reminds motorists to buckle up and drive sober during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.  State Troopers will utilize traffic safety enforcement tools, including saturation patrols, along with sobriety and seat belt checkpoints.  Our goal is to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes.  The 2017 St. Patrick’s Day holiday enforcement period started midnight, Friday, March 17, and ends 11:59 p.m., Saturday, March 18.

“The THP will have enforcement activities planned throughout the weekend,” said Colonel Tracy Trott. “We will focus our enforcement efforts on traffic violations that are hazardous.  Driving reckless, or under the influence endangers yourself and others.  That is unacceptable, and our troopers will be looking for those drivers.”

During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day enforcement period, the THP made 80 impaired driving arrests statewide. One person died in a traffic crash during the holiday period.  Holiday enforcement is part of a larger effort by the THP to make Tennessee roadways safer.  State troopers have arrested 1,607 DUI violators this year. This is a 15.5% decrease from the 1,902 arrests made at this time last year. 

In 2017, preliminary statistics indicate that 176 people have died on Tennessee roadways, compared to 175 fatalities during the same time period in 2016.

“As I have stated in the past, we have a responsibility to help ensure the public’s safety, and we hope our visibility and enforcement techniques will encourage motorists to obey traffic laws,” Colonel Trott said.  “This includes people wearing their seat belts and refrain from distracted driving.  We can prevent many senseless deaths if people just buckle up and pay attention.”

ST. PATRICK’S DAY DRIVING TIPS:

  • Plan Ahead.  If you plan to drink, arrange a safe way home before the festivities begin.  Designate a sober driver; 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.  There are a variety of apps for your smart phone.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement agency or dial *THP.
  • Remember, friends don’t let friends drive drunk!  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.

For more information on the consequences of impaired driving in Tennessee, visit http://tn.gov/safety/article/duioutline.

THP scheduled checkpoints can be viewed @ https://www.tn.gov/safety/article/checkpoints.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.

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