Tennessee Highway Patrol to conduct checkpoints during St. Patrick’s Day weekend

The THP will be enforcing seat belt laws in full force this holiday season. (Photo: MGNOnline)

Authored By Staff Report

The THP will be enforcing seat belt and other laws in full force this weekend. (Photo: MGNOnline)

Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be out during the St. Patrick’s Day conducting saturation patrols and sobriety and seat belt checks.

Our enforcement efforts will focus on traffic violations that are hazardous,” Col. Tracy Trott said in a prepared statement. “We will not tolerate driving reckless or under the influence. These actions endanger yourself as well as others. We have a responsibility to ensure the public’s safety, and we hope our visibility and enforcement techniques will encourage motorists to obey traffic laws.”

State troopers will utilize traffic safety enforcement tools including saturation patrols and sobriety and seat belt checkpoints, to help reduce serious injury and fatal crashes during the holiday weekend.  

The St. Patrick’s Day holiday enforcement period starts at midnight on March 17 and ends on March 18 at 11:59 p.m.

During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day enforcement period, the THP made 103 impaired driving arrests statewide.  

Seven people died in traffic crashes during the holiday period.

Four of those fatalities were alcohol-related.  

State troopers have made 1,434 DUI arrests this year. In 2018, preliminary statistics indicate that 162 people have died on Tennessee roads, compared to 187 fatalities during the same time period in 2017.

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, advance notice of its checkpoints is given because of the court case of State v. Downey for two reasons.

Notice minimizes the risk of an arbitrary intrusion into the rights of the public, and it also allows the public to take action to minimize their contact with the checkpoint by calling for a cab, appointing a designated driver or by limiting their alcohol consumption that evening.