The Oak Ridge Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Governorâ€™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.
During the holiday times, the Oak Ridge Police Department will be conducting saturation patrols throughout the city. Officer will be focusing on impaired driving, distracted driving, unrestrained motorist, as well as other traffic violations.
â€œWe canâ€™t stand to see this tragic loss of life again and again,â€ said Chief of Police James T. Akagi. â€œThe 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. Thatâ€™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.â€
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.
â€œAnyone can tell you that it is unsafe to drink and drive. However, this behavior continues to plague our state,â€ said Governorâ€™s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. â€œIf you are having cocktails at a holiday party, if you are enjoying a drink with relatives, if you are sharing a beer with friendsâ€”regardless of the situation, please plan ahead for a sober ride home. It is the best gift you can give yourself and everyone else.â€
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.
ORPD encourages residents to sign up for Nixle text alerts by texting 37830 to 888777. View crime data and sign up for crime alert emails at www.raidsonline.com. You can also follow the department on Facebook and Twitter.
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