|Kingsport Police Department
David Quillin, Chief of Police
200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660
|SUBJECT:||K.P.D. to Partner with THSO and NHTSA to Discourage Impaired Driving and Step Up Enforcement Labor Day Weekend|
|DATE:||August 18, 2017|
|The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday, a time for our country to reflect on the hard work of our fellow Americans. The long weekend is typically celebrated through picnics, pool parties, and barbecues, as families and friends enjoy the last few days of summer before fall and winter approach. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday is also one of the deadliest, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways.
The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) is Tennessee’s advocate for traffic safety. The THSO partners with community advocates and law enforcement agencies across the state to reduce impaired-driving crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Booze It & Lose It is Tennessee’s statewide campaign that runs from August 18, 2017 through September 4, 2017, coinciding with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Driving under the influence (DUI), also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunk driving, or impaired driving, is the crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, including those prescribed by physicians. In Tennessee, a drunk driver’s level of intoxication is typically determined by the measurement of blood alcohol content (BAC). A BAC measurement of 0.08% defines the criminal offense.
Being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol can impact your life in many ways, including loss of employment, prevention of employment in certain jobs, higher insurance rates, serious financial setbacks, personal and family embarrassment, and incarceration.
This year, the Kingsport Police Department is partnering with both the THSO and NHTSA to stop drunk drivers and help save lives. During the high-visibility state and national enforcement campaigns, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.
Statistics show a frightening trend in drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, an increase from the 9,967 people killed in 2014. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2011 to 2015—one person killed every 51 minutes in 2015. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the Kingsport Police Department is working with THSO and NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to Labor Day festivities, remember: Booze It & Lose It, so either Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Over the Labor Day holiday period in 2015, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty percent of those fatal crashes involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). Of those alcohol-related fatal crashes, one third (33%) involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and nearly one-fourth (23%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (.15+ BAC). Nighttime is the most dangerous time to be out on the roads: During the 2015 Labor Day holiday period, 78 percent of drunk-driving crash fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. – as compared to half of all drunk-driving crash fatalities throughout the rest of the year.
The Kingsport Police Department is stressing the dangers of driving impaired to our community. Drunk driving is a massive problem in the United States, with more than 10,000 people dying annually. If you’re out on the roads and you see someone driving drunk, please report it. You could help save a life.
The Kingsport Police Department, THSO, and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely. Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior. It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, throughout the year, but especially during this Labor Day holiday, there will be zero tolerance for drunk driving. There are just no excuses.
The Kingsport Police Department recommends safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
The Kingsport Police Department continues to stress that Tennessee D.U.I. laws apply not just to alcohol, but to any substance that impairs the ability to drive, including illegal drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, as well as prescription drugs, even if they are prescribed by a physician.
For more information about the THSO, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.
For more information about NHTSA’s impaired driving prevention programs, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving
|Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit
423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)