THP Holding No Refusal Checkpoints over Labor Day Weekend
The Tennessee Highway Patrol says DUI arrests are up almost 35 percent this year.
And with a holiday weekend coming up, as well as Boomsday and the first UT game of the season, THP says troopers will be out in full force looking for impaired drivers.
“We would like to see where nobody drives impaired of course, but that’s not going to happen,” said Lt. Don Boshears.
The 35 percent statistic represents how much arrests have spiked when comparing January 1st to August 15th of this year with 2013 statistics.
Lt. Boshears says there are several factors that can lead to accidents.
“You figure in speeding, distracted driving, reckless driving – you put all of those factors together and your chances of crashing increase,” he said.
Using crash safety data, THP can focus on areas where drunk drivers have been arrested or where an alcohol-related crash has occurred.
“We put troopers in those areas and saturate those areas real heavily,” he said.
Another tool THP is using this weekend is “no refusal” enforcement. That means, an officer can obtain a warrant to get your blood tested for alcohol content if they suspect you’re drinking and driving.
“We’ll stop you like any other stop, and we’ll give you a field sobriety task. If the officer, after you complete the task, believes that you are impaired he’ll ask for your consent to take your blood to see your blood alcohol content. If you refuse that the officer can take whatever probable cause he has that was generated during the stop, by your actions during the field sobriety test, and he can get a judge to sign a warrant to take your blood,” Lt. Boshears explained.
Lt. Boshears says it’s important for everyone hitting the roads to plan ahead this weekend, especially if you plan to be out drinking.
“We want you to have a good time, we want you to enjoy the holidays, the events that are coming up. We want to you to be smart about it, we want you to not drink and drive.”
KPD also plans to step up enforcement this weekend including having officers at Boomsday and UT’s game against Utah State.