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Law enforcement ready for New Year's DUI patrols

Law enforcement ready for New Year's DUI patrols

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}With New Year celebrations kicking off Sunday, the Carter County Sheriff’s Department is bringing in extra deputies to patrol

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"We just try to put more deputies on the highways and focus on your main state routes and U.S. routes,” Sergeant David Tranbarger said.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}While the Tennessee Highway Patrol will set up some sobriety checkpoints, Carter County deputies will simply increase the number of normal patrols and allow deputies to watch for erratic drivers.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"With as much speed enforcement as we try to do, the majority of the ones we've gotten here in the past have been people who have been going 10 to 15 miles under the speed limit,” Tranbarger said. “People who are hugging the fog line, not staying in their lane."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}The consequences of drunk driving can be deadly.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"A lot of times when the parents are intoxicated from going out a drinking too much, they'll wreck their car and cause a fatality, and it will end up being the child who gets killed,” Tranbarger said. “Those are the ones you never want to see. Of course, no one wants to see anybody get hurt, but especially children."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}Johnson City police are also staffing up for New Year's Eve. Captain Brian Rice said it isn't hard to find transportation that will keep you and others safe.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"Just be responsible about it,” Rice said. “If you plan on drinking anything, arrange for a designated driver. Get a cab. Arrange other means of transportation."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}Holiday travelers said they think it's important to drive responsibly.

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"I was in the Air Force for 30 years,” Charlie Murray said. “I was designated driver on a number of occasions."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}Murray said he knows that New Year's Eve is a peak time for drunk driving, but he will be safe when 2018 begins.

{p style="margin:0in 0in 8pt"}"I don't really stay in to avoid it,” Murray said. “I just rarely go out on New Year's Eve like that. I am aware of that happening."

{p style="margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin:0in 0in 8pt"}Being arrested for driving under the influence carries serious legal consequences in both Tennessee and Virginia. In both states, a DUI conviction can result in revocation of your license for a year. You could also spend up to a year in jail, and the fines, court costs, and other fees, a first time offender in Tennessee could cost thousands of dollars.

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