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Kingsport police increase impaired driving enforcement

Staff report • Dec 20, 2018 at 10:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Through Jan. 1, Kingsport police are stepping up traffic enforcement as part of the holiday season’s Booze It and Lose It campaign.

The focus on impaired driving is an initiative of the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, who is providing Kingsport police with grant money to fund increased enforcement. According to Kingsport Police Department Public Information Officer Tom Patton, the increased sobriety checkpoints and high visibility enforcement aim to drastically reduce the number of drunk-driving crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

“The Kingsport Police Department continues to stress that Tennessee DUI laws apply not just to alcohol, but to any substance that impairs the ability to drive, including illegal drugs and over-the-counter medications, as well as prescription drugs, even if they are prescribed by a physician,” states a KPD news release.

Beyond the risk of serious injury or death associated with impaired driving, being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can negatively impact an offender’s life in many ways.

Consequences could include the loss of employment and prevention of employment in certain jobs. Offenders see significantly higher insurance rates and serious financial setbacks due to costly fines, court costs and legal fees. Then there is personal and family embarrassment, the installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s vehicle and mandatory jail time.

“We ask all Tennesseans to please drive safely this holiday season,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Our state and local law enforcement partners will be out in full force to secure Tennessee roadways. We want everyone to make it home safely, so please designate a sober driver.”

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