For many people, celebrations don’t feel complete without alcohol. Unfortunately, that can mean a lot of drunk drivers on the road this time of year.
As we’ve discussed before, the holidays are a peak time for alcohol abuse — and accidents. Nationwide, 2-1/2 times as many people are killed in alcohol-related crashes than at other times of the year. Last December in Tennessee there were over 500 traffic crashes across the state that involved at least one drunk driver.
Law enforcement in Chattanooga and statewide are teaming up to increase DUI enforcement during the holiday season. The increased enforcement campaign is called “Booze It and Lose It,” and it is part of a national campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Starting today through the end of December you’re going to see local police departments, THP, and dedicated DUI patrols across the city of Chattanooga, other municipalities and the County increasing enforcement efforts to prevent alcohol and drug impaired drivers from ruining their lives and the lives of others in our communities,” says a spokesperson for the Chattanooga PD.
Campaign to include increased patrols, sobriety checkpoints and more
The “Booze It and Loose It” campaign runs through New Year’s Day. Law enforcement will deploy increased and deliberate enforcement techniques aimed at identifying and removing impaired drivers from the road. This will occur via regular patrols and through overtime funded by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.
In addition, police agencies will be setting up an increased number of sobriety checkpoints where all drivers are stopped and tested for alcohol impairment.
Finally, there will be educational messages about the dangers of drunk driving posted in high-traffic areas.
Stay safe — and keep others safe — by making a plan to avoid DUI
The best way to avoid a DUI arrest is to avoid driving when you’ve been drinking alcohol. True as that is, it’s easy to say and hard for a lot of people to do. That is because alcohol affects our judgment, including judgment about how safe we are to drive. So, it’s important to have a plan in place before you begin celebrating:
- Eat and pace yourself
- Give your keys to the party host
- Designate a sober driver
- Have the app for Lyft, Uber, a taxi or another driving service ready to go
Remember, the consequences of a Tennessee DUI conviction are harsh and costly even if you don’t get into an accident. Things only get worse if someone is injured. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead for a sober ride.