Drunk driving, speeding and failure to wear seatbelts has become a deadly combination in Tennessee and DeKalb County. This year fatalities are up statewide. While not all of those have been alcohol or speed related many of them could have been prevented by simply buckling a seatbelt.
That is why Sheriff Patrick Ray has announced today the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department will be joining with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol and other agencies across the county this holiday season to ensure motorists reach their destinations safely.
Sheriff Ray says “Our message is simple. Always wear your seatbelt, drive the speed limit and don’t drink and drive. If motorists will take just a moment and think about these things before they get behind the wheel of a car, there would be less injuries and fatalities should a crash occur.”
“All it takes is a couple of seconds to buckle your seatbelt,” said Clint Shrum Law Enforcement Liaison for the Governor’s Highway Safety Office. “If people would take this one simple and easy step before they operate a vehicle we could easily reduce our fatalities by half.”
Driving without a seatbelt is illegal in Tennessee. Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state. Although fatalities were at a record low last year across the state, this year has proved to be different. Statewide fatalities are up by 53.
Sheriff Ray also said that “Drunk driving is simply not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work, and dozens of other expenses.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department in conjunction with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Governor’s Highway Safety Office and other law enforcement agencies is planning high visibility patrols in problem areas throughout the county over the holiday period. Sheriff Ray iis urging everyone to buckle up and drive smart and enjoy the holidays.