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Hawkins police warn against drinking and driving over holiday weekend

STAFF REPORT • Nov 21, 2017 at 9:30 PM

As you get on the roads to travel home and spend the Thanksgiving holiday reconnecting with friends and loved ones, local law enforcement officials want you to be safe.

As an added public awareness campaign, all Hawkins County police agencies are serving a reminder: “Make it to the table: Don’t drink and drive this Thanksgiving Eve.”

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is a cultural phenomenon called “Thanksgiving Eve,” an evening associated with drinking and a big night for bars. From 2012 to 2016, more than 800 people died across the nation in alcohol-related crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roads.

The Church Hill Police Department, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department, Mount Carmel Police Department, Rogersville Police Department, Surgoinsville Police Department and Hawkins County E911 Emergency Communications will be working in a combined effort to keep the roadways safe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be running a blitz social media campaign, “Make it to the table: Don’t drink and drive this Thanksgiving Eve.”

On Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving, all social media channels will be sharing content on the importance of not drinking and driving, and of planning ahead for a sober ride home. Social posts, Instagram image, and tweets with hashtags #buzzeddriving and #designateddriver will be available for organizations to participate and help distribute this critical message.

Local law enforcement is urging the public and the media to help spread the word and to take precautions so that everyone can make it to the table this Thanksgiving.

Use good judgment and:

• Plan ahead

• Designate a sober driver before the first drink

• Use public transportation (a taxi, the Sober Ride Program, etc.)

If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Whether you’re riding or driving, wear your seat belt.

As always, local law enforcement wishes everyone a safe holiday season.

This message is approved by: CHPD Chief Mark Johnson, Sheriff Ronnie Lawson, MCPD Chief George Copas, RPD Chief Doug Nelson, SPD Chief James Hammonds and 911 Director Gay Murrell.

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