Local officers ramp up enforcement for ‘Booze It & Lose It’ campaign

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — “Nobody wants to knock on anybody’s door and tell them their loved one isn’t coming home,” Sgt. Joseph Gill of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department said.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office from Dec. 13-31 to step up patrols on the roadways.

“The campaign is designed to take drunk and impaired drivers off of the roadways,” Sgt. Gill said.

It’s called Booze It and Lose It, and it’s a campaign aiming to emphasize drivers can lose their license, freedom and even their lives.

“Last year during December, we had over 500 crashes and DUIs in the state of Tennessee,” Sgt. Gill said. “They are going to be looking for distracted drivers, seat belts. A couple of years ago many of the people who were killed were unrestrained, so that’s another issue we need to look at.”

Sgt. Gill says this year, as a total, the number of crashes have been down.

“West Tennessee is minus 16 in fatal car crashes this year, and it’s astounding compared to the rest of the state,” Sgt. Gill said.

In 2016, there were 70 fatal crashes in West Tennessee. There were 13 in Madison County. This year, there were 63 and only 11 in Madison County.

“It gets very expensive and it stays on your driver’s license,” Sgt. Gill said.

If pulled over, a single DUI ranges from fines, jail time, drug and alcohol treatment and even could result in installing an ignition interlock device.

“Go out and have a good time during the holidays, but if you are going to drink, make sure you have a designated driver,” Sgt. Gill said.

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