NASHVILLE (WRCB) -- The Tennessee Highway Patrol announced on Wednesday that there was just one alcohol-related fatality during the 16-county "No Refusal" DUI enforcement effort over the Thanksgiving Holiday period. Additionally, five suspects refused to take a blood alcohol level test and warrants were then obtained for a blood sample under the "No Refusal" law.
This campaign was a coordinated effort by the THP, the Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO), local district attorneys, and various local and state law enforcement agencies.
The "No Refusal" law allows law enforcement officials to seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers. The goal is to deter impaired driving and reduce fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways.
The "No Refusal" enforcement began at 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 21 and ended at midnight, Sunday, November 25. This special DUI enforcement was effective in selected counties: Monroe and Sevier (Knoxville District); Franklin and Grundy (Chattanooga District); Davidson and Sumner (Nashville District); Shelby and Fayette (Memphis District); Cocke and Washington (Fall Branch District); Clay and Putnam (Cookeville District); Lawrence and Maury (Lawrenceburg District); and Chester and Weakley (Jackson District).
Overall, 78 individuals were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Preliminary reports also indicate that six people were killed in six fatal crashes during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday period, compared to nine vehicular fatalities during last year's holiday period. Three of the vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts. Also, three of the fatalities occurred in alcohol-related crashes, including one in Maury County, a "No Refusal" participant.