Expect Increased Impaired-Driving Enforcement During Holiday Season

RCSD Deputy Jesse Wilkey on the scene during staged accident in front of Rhea County High School students to raise awareness for driving under the influence. (ElmerHarris/RheaReview)

Dayton, TN – Rhea County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to increase impaired-driving enforcement from December 21, 2021, to January 1, 2022, surrounding the holiday season. The THSO’s statewide Booze It and Lose It campaign is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over nationwide mobilization.

The Sheriff’s Department will focus their efforts on Alcohol and Traffic Enforcement targeting alcohol and speed violations for the upcoming holidays. The Sheriff’s Department will conduct highly visible saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints.  To ensure the safety of the motoring public, the sheriff’s office will be enforcing a Zero Tolerance Policy on speeding, drunk and impaired driving, and seat belt violations.

“We want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but we will be on the lookout. If you are going to drink, don’t drive,” said Sheriff Mike Neal. “Sobriety checkpoints will be set up throughout Rhea County”. In addition to sobriety checkpoints deputies will conduct highly visible saturation patrols in efforts to maintain the safety of our roadways. “We can’t stand to see this tragic loss of life again and again,” said Sheriff Mike Neal “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. Please find a safe and sober ride home.”

Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of drunk driving, coupled with increased sobriety checkpoints and high visibility enforcement, aim to drastically reduce the number of drunk-driving crashes, injuries, and fatalities this year.

The consequences of a single DUI conviction for a first-time offender in the state of Tennessee may include costly fines, court costs, legal fees, jail time, mandatory drug and alcohol treatment, and/or the installation of an ignition interlock device in his/her vehicle.

The THSO provides grant funding to support Rhea County Sheriff’s Department’s increased enforcement efforts during the Booze It and Lose It holiday campaign. For more information about the THSO, please visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.

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