THP urges driver safety for upcoming St. Patrick’s Day weekend

JACKSON, Tenn. — St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and although that means a celebration for some, officers are reminding the public to make safe decisions on the road this Friday.

“We don’t want to see you, and you don’t want to see us,” Lt. Brad Wilbanks with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

Drivers can expect to see more law enforcement officers on the road this weekend.

“We’re going to be out all day, most of the night — tavern checks, saturation those type things plus just regular enforcement,” Lt. Wilbanks said.

The St. Patrick’s Day holiday is a time of celebration, but officers want people to be mindful before getting behind the wheel so they won’t have to deal with the consequences.

“The fines — it’s thousands of dollars,” Lt. Wilbanks said. “You lose your license, you can lose your vehicle, those type things. So we beg people — have fun, be smart.”

Lt. Wilbanks said because the holiday falls on a Friday, it’s extra important and likely for law enforcement to be on patrol all day.

“It’s those that start early and don’t know when to say ‘when,’ and they continue too long,” Lt. Wilbanks said.

According to a report from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, for more than 10 years, crashes in Madison County have been more likely to happen on a Friday.

Officials say creating a plan of action can make a huge difference. Choosing a designated driver, knowing your drinking limits and always buckle up are a few things to remember as drivers start the weekend.

“It’s not worth it,” Lt. Wilbanks said. “It’s not worth a life that you may take, or your own.”

Lt. Wilbanks says extra patrols will be out until the early morning hours after the holiday.

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