‘No refusal’ DUI enforcement over holiday weekend

'No refusal' DUI enforcement over holiday weekend (Image 1)
The Tennessee Highway Patrol will conduct “no refusal” DUI enforcement in 16 counties over the Fourth of July weekend.

The practice allows troopers to get search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers.

“We'll take them to the local hospital and or emergency room to obtain the blood,” Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Miller told Nashville's News 2.

He continued, “We want to catch them before a crash before they hurt someone or themselves.  We don't want to knock on a door and tell a family member that their loved one has been killed due to a drunk driver.”

Stepped-up traffic enforcement began statewide at 6 p.m. Wednesday and continues through Midnight Sunday.

The Department of Safety and Homeland Security said 21 people were killed in 17 traffic crashes over the Independence Day holiday weekend in 2012, at a rate of about one death every six hours.

Half of the crashes involved alcohol and nearly 40% of those killed weren't wearing seat belts.

“We don't want you to be a statistic.  We want you to be a survivor, One who's around for the next holiday, tomorrow, another birthday [and] another holiday.”

AAA motor club estimates about 724,000 people will travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday period – 84% of them by car.

*The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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