THP Helps Holiday Travelers Get Home Safe For Christmas

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 | 06:00pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn., — Safe travel for motorists is the goal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol during this weekend’s Christmas holiday, Friday, December 22nd through Monday, December 25th.  In 2005, six people died in six separate single vehicle crashes on Tennessee roads during the Christmas travel period.  Two of the fatalities last year occurred in alcohol-related crashes.

Saturation patrols and driver license checkpoints are two of the tools the THP will utilize over the Christmas holiday weekend.  Last weekend, the THP took part in National Holiday Lifesavers Weekend to focus attention on impaired driving.  This weekend, State Troopers will again work to ensure that travelers can reach their destinations safely.

“Christmas is a time when many people travel to share the holiday with family and friends,” said Governor Phil Bredesen.  “We want this joyous time to be safe for everyone, and all of our traffic safety enforcement efforts are created with that goal in mind.”

Interim Safety Commissioner Gerald Nicely said, “No one wants Christmas to be the time of a family tragedy.  To prevent crashes, drivers should obey speed and other laws, stay alert and remember never to mix alcohol and driving.”

Tennessee DUI laws allow for a maximum fine of $1,500 and sentences of up to 12 months in jail for first time offenders.  Multiple offenders can end up in jail for up to six years and pay up to a $15,000 fine.

“This weekend, Troopers will be out in force conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to keep impaired drivers off the road,” warns THP Colonel Mike Walker.  “We want everyone to have a safe and happy holiday.”

The Tennessee Department of Safety ( is responsible for ensuring the safety and general welfare of the traveling public.  The department’s general areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education and motorist services including the issuance of driver licenses.  The department and its highly trained staff of Troopers are responsible for safety on more than 15,000 miles of state and federal highways.

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