Motorists on Tri-Cities highways and back roads this holiday weekend might want to take heed of their speed and other safety concerns because local and state law enforcement will be out in force to ensure drivers follow traffic laws.
There is no shortage of slogans tagged onto the Labor Day traffic law enforcement campaigns. The Tennessee Highway Patrol will hold its “No Refusal” campaign to target intoxicated drivers while the Johnson City Police Department is promoting the Governor’s Highway Safety Office’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” effort.
And Washington County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Patrick Littleton said his department will have 12 to 15 extra deputies on patrol over the holiday weekend watching for impaired drivers, seat belt violations and motorists who text while driving.
Last year, 16 motorists died in 15 fatal crashes across Tennessee. That was three more than 2012. Of those 15 crashes, six were alcohol related, according to state statistics. None of those occurred in the Tri-Cities.
JCPD Master Police Officer Allan Rutledge said the department obtains grant funding from the GHSO to pay officers overtime for additional patrol shifts during enforcement campaigns.
Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers will hold numerous sobriety, driver’s license and seat belt checkpoints throughout the Labor Day weekend, beginning Friday night. In the Fall Branch District, which includes Upper East Tennessee, checkpoints will be held in Greene, Hawkins, Washington, Carter, Jefferson and Grainger County.
In Washington County, the checkpoints will be held at various times of the day at locations such as Tenn. Highway 81, Tenn. Highway 107, Tenn. Highway 400, Austin Springs Road, U.S. Highway 11E, Pickens Bridge Road, Smith Street and Tenn. Highway 381.
In Carter County, the checkpoints will be held on Siam Road, Tenn. Highway 67, Tenn. Highway 361 and Tenn. Highway 359.
The THP ‘No Refusal’ campaign allows law enforcement officials to seek a search warrant for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers.
“Law enforcement officials have another tool to utilize to deter impaired driving and reduce fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways by conducting ‘No Refusal’ enforcements,” said THP Col. Tracy Trott. “The ultimate goal is to remove drunk drivers from our roadways and to save lives.”
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