Despite an aggressive law enforcement campaign, seven people died on Tennessee roads over the New Year’s holiday weekend. That’s two more than last year during the same time period.
Local and state authorities launched the No Refusal weekend and cracked down on traffic and road violations between Dec. 28 and Jan. 1.
-DUI arrests: 31
-Search warrants obtained for blood samples: 1
As of Dec. 28, there had been 1,002 traffic-related deaths in the state, and leaders hoped that the campaign would prevent further deaths.
In July, leaders passed the No Refusal Law, which means that law enforcement officials canseek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers. So, essentially, a driver cannot refuse the test.
Officials conducted sobriety and driver’s license checkpoints throughout the long weekend.
Sixteen counties, two from each of the eight Tennessee Highway Patrol districts, participated in the special enforcement campaign,including Knox and Sevier (Knoxville District); Hamilton and Marion (Chattanooga District); Robertson and Wilson (Nashville District); Crockett and Tipton (Memphis District); Carter and Greene (Fall Branch District); Cumberland and Overton (Cookeville District); Bedford and Maury (Lawrenceburg District); and Chester and Carroll (Jackson District).
THP leaders said that preliminary reports indicate that three people were killed in three separate crashes in the No Refusal areas-Hamilton, Knox and Wilson counties. But none of those crashes was alcohol-related.
Two people killed were not wearing seat belts. Two people killed were pedestrians.