Thirty-four Tennessee Highway Patrol checkpoints are scheduled throughout the state for the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDSHS) announced in a press release today.
The holiday enforcement period begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sep. 2. "No Refusal" checkpoints will be conducted in 11 counties. If a person refuses a breathalyzer or sobriety test, "No Refusal" legislation allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples.
"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," TDSHS Commissioner Gibbons said.
The counties that will participate in "No Refusal" are: Roane, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Sequatchie, Rutherford, Fayette, Carter, Putnam, Giles, and Henry.
The state said that 12 people were killed in 11 crashes on state roadways during the 2012 holiday, one person was a pedestrian. Alcohol was involved in two of the fatalities. Of the 11 killed in vehicle crashes, seven were not wearing seatbelts. As of today, 630 people were killed in traffic accidents this year — almost half of them were not wearing seatbelts.
"DUI is one of the categories targeted throughout the year and especially during the holidays. 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," THP Colonel Trott said.
This year, as of Aug. 24, state troopers arrested 3,728 people for impaired driving. It's a nine percent increase compared to the same time frame last year.
The full list of checkpoints can be viewed here.