Chattanooga police beefing up patrol to protect drivers over the holiday
Thursday starts the “increased enforcement action" by the Chattanooga police department, which means you can expect to see more officers on the street.
The goal is to crack down on impaired and distracted driving.
Jeffery Buckner is an investigator with the Chattanooga Police Department's DUI division. Next month will mark six years with the force. He says that this time of year can be deadly for drivers.
"One of the worst things officers can say is doing death notifications, especially during this time of the year to tell someone right before Christmas or New Year’s Eve that their loved one will not be coming home,” said Buckner.
Channel 3 rode along with Buckner and nine other saturation officers.
Buckner said, "I like to be visible around bars to see where the crowds are. They see my vehicle and know that we are out in force, especially out on nice nights and they know that if they make that decision there will be consequences."
During the ride along, the most common stop was when a driver didn't have their headlights on.
Buckner said that and speeding are the most common citations they typically see downtown, especially in a bar area, but it’s also a strong indicator of impaired driving.
Officers have made more than 750 DUI arrests so far this year.
Buckner says the ultimate goal is to make sure everyone gets home safely.
Buckner said, "Make good choices tonight and throughout the holiday season and use alternate services if you drink, call a sober driver, taxi, Uber, or Lyft and make sure everyone gets home safely."
The increased enforcement action runs through January 2.