Lights On For Life Kicks Off Holiday Lifesavers Weekend

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will combine forces with other state and local law enforcement agencies around the country for this year’s “Lights on for Life Day”, held Friday, December 17. “Lights on for Life” is a symbolic headlight observance designed to focus attention on the impaired driving issue and remember those who have lost their lives due to drunk drivers. Lights on for Life Dayis the lead-in event for “National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend,” a three-day DUI enforcement campaign from December 17 through December 19. This program, which is sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriff’s Association, has been conducted every year since 1991 and always falls on the weekend prior to Christmas.
Sobriety checkpoints and driver license checkpoints will be conducted in counties throughout the state this weekend and throughout the holidays. Tennessee law allows fines of up to $1,500 and a maximum of 12 months in jail for first time DUI offenders. Multiple offenders can be sentenced to jail for up to six years and may be ordered to pay fines of as much as $15,000.
In 2009, 303 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Tennessee that involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than .08, the legal limit. That represented 31 percent of the state’s 989 traffic fatalities. Nationally, 10,839 people died in crashes that involved a drunk driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher in 2009.
As of December 15, preliminary statistics indicate that 994 people have died on Tennessee roadways in 2010, an increase of 48 deaths compared to 946 fatalities at this same time a year ago. Traffic fatalities in Tennessee declined more than 23 percent over a four year period (2006-2009).