TENNESSEE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ALERT RESIDENTS OF ‘NO REFUSAL’ DURING LABOR DAY HOLIDAY | News
District Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announces the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and Tennessee Highway Patrol’s second “No Refusal” campaign.
The “No Refusal” enforcement effort, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 31, 2012 and concluding at midnight on Monday, September 3, 2012, will also coincide with the Labor Day holiday weekend. “No Refusal” is the latest enforcement strategy aimed at deterring impaired driving and reducing fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways. The new law, passed this year by the General Assembly, allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers.
In years past, a person could refuse testing unless he or she had prior convictions or there was a serious injury. The new enforcement allows the district attorneys to seek a warrant regardless of objection. A sound application based on probable cause is required.
“Keeping the citizens of Tennessee safe is my top priority,” District Attorney Mike Dunavant said. “District attorneys review search warrant applications prior to submitting them to the court to be certain that probable cause exists. This review is intended to assist law enforcement and the court and to protect law-abiding drivers from harm that may result from an impaired driver. We also review warrant applications to stop further action if a law enforcement officer lacks probable cause in a particular situation. The ‘No Refusal’ enforcement will help keep our roads safe during the Labor Day holiday.”
Five Tennessee counties participated in the first “No Refusal” campaign, and zero fatalities were reported in those counties during the Fourth of July, 126-hour enforcement.
This targeted enforcement will now focus on 16 counties where impaired driving and fatal crashes have increased in 2012. The counties include:
· Bedford County
· Campbell County
· Cannon County
· Chester County
· Jefferson County
· Lincoln County
· McMinn County
· Meigs County
· Roane County
· Robertson County
· Rutherford County
· Shelby County
· Sullivan County
· Tipton County
· Warren County
· Weakley County
In addition to the “No Refusal” program, motorists can also expect sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols in other counties across the state for routine holiday enforcement.
During the 2011 Labor Day holiday, 12 people were killed in 11 fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways. That was up from the 10 vehicular fatalities in 2010. Last year, alcohol was involved in two of the fatalities, and 40 percent of the vehicle occupants killed were not wearing safety restraints. Two motorcyclists were also killed during the 78-hour holiday period.
As of Aug. 26, 2012, preliminary statistics indicate 622 people have died on Tennessee roadways, an increase of 30 deaths (5 percent) over the 592 fatalities that had occurred at this same time last year.