More than 1,000 people have died so far this year in car accidents in Tennessee, so local and state authorities launched an aggressive enforcement campaign Friday that runs through the end of the year. It's aimed at preventing vehicle fatalities.
“State troopers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the New Year’s holiday," Col. Tracy Trott said in a prepared statement. "Also, we will be making every effort to remind citizens to buckle up. Alcohol and seat belt usage are contributing factors in too many crashes across the state. Our goal is to save lives this holiday season and to usher in the new year on the right foot."
The 1,002nd person killed this year died this morning in Hamilton County, leaders said at a Friday morning press conference.
Five people died last year in car crashes on Tennessee roads during the New Year's Eve holiday weekend.
Sixty percent of those were alcohol-related accidents.
In July, leaders passed the No Refusal Law, which means that law enforcement officials can seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers. So, essentially, a driver cannot refuse the test.
Officials will be conducting checkpoints throughout the county all weekend. They started their efforts at 3 p.m. Friday and will continue through midnight Jan. 1.
“The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s eight district captains have worked tirelessly to coordinate this effort with local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges and emergency services personnel in their respective regions,” Bill Gibbons, Department of Safety and Homeland Security commissioner, said in a prepared statement. “They take their duty to ensure the public’s safety seriously, and this enforcement effort is proof of their commitment.”