Last week law enforcement in Tennessee was in full force with not only Fourth of July drunk driving enforcement, but also the first "No Refusal" campaign in the state. The goal of both of these enforcement campaigns was to get drunk drivers off of the roads in order to prevent motor vehicle related injuries and fatalities.
This comes at an important time as preliminary data points to a 7.5 percent increase in alcohol-related crashes for the first six months of the year in the state. Last year from the first of the year through June 30 there were 2,370 crashes were alcohol was reported as playing a role. During the same time period this year, the number of accidents involving a driver under the influence hit 2,547.
In an effort to combat this number from continuing to rise, the "No Refusal" law was enacted in Tennessee this year. This law allows police to obtain search warrants for blood samples of those drivers they believe are under the influence of alcohol.
Before this law, drivers knew they could refuse the blood test and end up facing a charge for violating the implied consent law.
The hope is that going forward, now that drivers know that police are going to work with judges and prosecutors in Tennessee in order to get a warrant for a blood sample, maybe this will be a deterrent to driving drunk in the first place.
The "No Refusal" campaign went on while police in Tennessee were also busy with added Fourth of July enforcement from July 4 until July 8.