Sobriety, driver's license checkpoints set for Thanksgiving holiday weekend
The Tennessee Highway Patrol will conduct more than 70 sobriety and driver license checkpoints statewide this Thanksgiving in an effort to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities during the busy holiday weekend.
The 2007 Thanksgiving holiday period begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21 and runs through midnight Sunday, Nov. 25.
As part of the special enforcement, THP will take part in two law enforcement campaigns.
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, State Troopers will take part in a nationwide program called “Operation Care.”
During this effort, a Trooper, sheriff deputy or police officer will be posted every 10 miles the entire length of Interstate 40. Troopers will participate in the campaign from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m., on what is typically one of the busiest days for holiday travel.
“The Department of Safety is happy to once again be participating in Operation Care,” says Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell.
“There will be thousands of more cars and trucks on our highways this weekend. As traffic increases, so does the risk for crashes and injuries. Last year during Operation Care, there were no fatal crashes on I-40, and we hope that will be the case again this year.”
Troopers are also participating in a Tri-State initiative called “Take Back Our Highways.” THP is teaming-up with the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Alabama Department of Safety for this effort.
During the entire Thanksgiving week, Nov. 19-25, all available law enforcement officers, including administrative members, will participate in patrol duty.
“Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and reflect on the many things we have to be grateful for, but too often, we’ve seen people, as they were attempting to go visit family and friends, lose their lives in a traffic crash,” stated Colonel Mike Walker.
“It’s our goal to have no fatalities this year. That may sound unrealistic, but if we don’t have that goal, then we’re not out there doing the job that we should be doing.”
Twenty people were killed in crashes on Tennessee roads during the Thanksgiving weekend of 2006.
That represents an increase from 17 fatalities in 2005 and 13 in 2004.
Sobriety and driver license checkpoints are scheduled at various times throughout the holiday weekend in the state’s eight THP districts.
Troopers will be looking for impaired and unlicensed drivers, motorists not wearing seat belts, and those driving above the speed limit.