68 arrested during New Year’s drunken driving enforcement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s “no refusal” drunken driving enforcement over the New Year’s holiday period netted 68 arrests.

Under the state’s “no refusal” law, troopers can compel suspected drunken drivers to give blood samples. That law was strictly enforced in Roane, McMinn, Rutherford, Shelby, Washington, Cumberland, Maury and Hardin counties over a five-day period surrounding the holiday.

Six drivers’ blood was taken after they refused to be tested at checkpoints. Troopers also issued 306 seat belt violations in the eight counties.

Drivers in routine traffic stops can refuse to take roadside tests or submit to breath-alcohol tests, though they can be charged for violating the implied consent laws and lose their driving privileges.

Two people were killed in alcohol-related crashes statewide during the 102-hour New Year’s Eve period.