THP to Increase Patrols During St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to buckle up and drive sober during the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, as there will be increased patrols to keep motorists safe. The 2014 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period will begin at midnight, Sunday, March 16 and end at 11:59 p.m., Monday, March 17. However, THP personnel have enforcement activities planned throughout the weekend, starting on Friday, March 14. Last year, 13 people died in vehicular crashes during the 72-hour St. Patty’s Day holiday period. Of the 13 fatalities, six were vehicle occupants and four (66.7%) were not wearing safety restraints. Five of the vehicular deaths were motorcycle riders and two were all-terrain vehicle (ATV) occupants. Four of the fatalities (30.8%) occurred in an alcohol-related crash. “We have a responsibility to help ensure the public’s safety, and we hope our visibility and enforcement techniques will encourage motorists to obey traffic laws, specifically, wearing your seat belt. We can prevent many senseless deaths if people would just buckle up,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “State Troopers will also aggressively seek out drunk or distracted drivers this holiday weekend,” he added. During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day 72-hour enforcement period, the THP made 72 impaired driving arrests statewide. Since January 1, 2014, State Troopers have arrested 1,535 DUI violators, a 38.2 percent increase from the 1,111 arrests made at this same time a year ago. In 2014, preliminary statistics indicate that 158 people have died on Tennessee roadways, compared to 164 fatalities during the same time period in 2013.

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