State Troopers Target Impaired Drivers And Seat Belt Offenders Over Weekend

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Thursday announced a reminder that the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be out in force during the Christmas Holiday period to ensure travelers reach their destination safely. State troopers will focus their attention on impaired driving and seat belt usage during the holiday, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Tuesday.

“The focus of this effort is to save lives,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.  “I urge all Tennesseans and travelers passing through our state to obey the laws designed to keep them safe, through the holidays and whenever they get behind the wheel.” 

During the 2011 Christmas holiday, nine people were killed on Tennessee roadways in six fatal crashes. Alcohol was involved in 66 percent of those crashes and four of the eight vehicle occupants killed were not wearing seat belts. There was also one pedestrian killed during the 96-hour holiday period.

“Unfortunately, impaired driving is a year-round problem. It becomes especially serious during the holidays as more people are traveling to and from parties and special gatherings,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “Our goal is remove offenders from the roadways and protect the motoring public. We want this joyous time to be safe for everyone, and all of our traffic safety enforcement efforts are created with that goal in mind,” he added.   

The THP will utilize several enforcement tools, including saturation patrols, bar and tavern checks, and driver license and sobriety checkpoints to help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes over the holiday.

The THP said designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are two of the several steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other tips include: 

Plan ahead: Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;

If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely; 

Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to the Tennessee Highway Patrol by dialing  *THP;

Wearing your seat belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver; 

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.  If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.


Celebration Of Human Rights Day Is Dec. 10

The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 1948. It represents the universal recognition that basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent to all human beings, inalienable and equally applicable to everyone, and that every one of us is born free and equal in dignity and rights. The community is invited to come to the Eastdale Village ... (click for more)

Chattanooga International Human Rights Day 2016 Commemoration To Be Held Dec. 10

The Chattanooga Human Rights Day Committee, in conjunction with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, will host the Chattanooga International Human Rights Day 2016 Commemoration, on  Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. , at the Eastdale Village UMC Church. For more details, call  423 320-8598 . (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man who agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drug buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man With 5 Violent Felonies Gets 30 Years In Prison

A Chattanooga man with five violent felonies on his record has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison. Demetrius Joiner, 30, was given a 20-year sentence by Judge Curtis Collier after he was ruled to be an Armed Career Criminal. Judge Collier said the term would be consecutive to several state sentences imposed earlier on Joiner, including 10 years for aggravated robbery. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)