The East Ridge Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office to enhance DUI enforcement from December 18 to January 3, surrounding the holiday season. The statewide Booze It and Lose It campaign is part of a national mobilization to prevent drunk driving.
During the first nine months of this year, Tennessee experienced 4,740 known alcohol-related crashes. That equates to an average of 17 people each day making the decision to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking.
The Department will be conducting saturation patrols in the area during the holiday season to combat impaired driving.
“We can’t stand to see this tragic loss of life again and again,” said Chief JR Reed. . “The hardest part of the job is making that house call and telling a family that their loved one is gone because someone chose to drink and drive. That’s why, leading up to the holidays, we will show zero tolerance for drunk drivers on the road. Please find a safe and sober ride home.”
Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with checkpoints and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce the toll of drunk driving.
“Anyone can tell you that it is unsafe to drink and drive. However, this behavior continues to plague our state,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “If you are having cocktails at a holiday party, if you are enjoying a drink with relatives, if you are sharing a beer with friends – regardless of the situation, please plan ahead for a sober ride home. It is the best gift you can give yourself and everyone else.”
A single DUI conviction can cost an individual $5,000 or more in addition to jail time. Offenders could also be required to attend drug and alcohol treatment or to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
For more information on traffic safety, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.