The Tennessee Highway Patrol will impose a "no refusal" traffic safety rule from Dec. 31, 2015 to Monday, Jan 4, 2016, in an attempt to decrease the amount of deadly car crashes over the holiday season, the agency says.
In 2012 Tennessee state law sanctioned the ability to permit cops to compel drivers to have their blood drawn. Before, drivers had the option to decline such tests with the knowledge that their drivers license would be suspended.
But this year, state police will patrol numerous checkpoints and bars, inspecting to confirm drivers are buckled up and sober.
State troopers will be permitted to pursue search warrants, and any alleged impaired driver could be subject to blood sampling, according to Times Free Press.
Nine crashes killed nine individuals, counting one pedestrian and child during the 2014 holiday season in Tennessee. Three of those mortalities were alcohol-related, and four of the dead were not buckled up.
To date, state police have arrested almost 8,000 people for driving under the influence of alcohol.
"Our department will be working diligently to make sure Tennesseans arrive at their destinations safely," Commissioner Bill Gibbons stated in a news release. "It is our intent to enforce traffic laws in order to keep Tennesseans safe. During this New Year's holiday, we hope you will enjoy your family and friends as you ring in the New Year. Please choose a sober driver to get home safely."
This new amendment of the 2012 law has not been widely reported by major outlets, but it was posted on popular social networking site, Reddit, and most netizens found the Tennessee enforcement to be a violation of rights.
The top comment by ‘Red_Chameleon’ sarcastically reads: “Roadside blood draws? That seems totally safe and hygienic.”
Another highly liked comment by ‘Astrocreep2112’ says: “Police Say It’s Unconstitutional To Mandate Drug Testing On Officers.”
“Brief checkpoint stops of all motorists without reasonable suspicion--the Supreme Court says that's constitutional. Drawing blood of all motorists without reasonable suspicion? That's very likely unconstitutional, but to my knowledge no one's tried it before. I think that the police are proposing to do here is brief checkpoint stops of all motorists, and then blood draws on the ones for whom reasonable suspicion develops (during the brief stop) to believe they are intoxicated. That's probably constitutional.”
A user by the name of ‘Iam_Whysenhymer’ quips: “Boy am I glad that I don't ever plan on going to Tennessee ever for anything.”
The "no refusal" law will take place in the subsequent counties: Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Shelby, Washington, Putnam, Lawrence and Hardin.