Patrols work to keep roads safe on New Year's Eve

12:32 AM, Jan 1, 2013   |    comments
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The night of New Year's Eve is all about celebrations, fireworks, and the ball drop, but once the party is over, safety becomes serious business for law enforcement, especially on the road.

Oak Ridge Patrol Officer Garrett Robbins works to find trouble before it finds the roads.

"What we catch is a small portion of what's out there. We wish we could get them all. When it comes down to it, there are a lot of drivers on the road that don't need to be driving," he said.

His department, like many in Tennessee, had extra feet on the ground this holiday, and they planned to work through the night.

"It will start picking up at 10 or 11, getting busy when people have been drinking for a while," he explained.

In Knox County, the sheriff's office and police are teaming up with THP for New Year's patrols.

"We have real patrol out, like any other night. Then an extra unit just targeting DUI enforcement," said Robbins.

KCSO Lt. Todd Clark has been in law enforcement for 20 years. He's used to the New Year's routine by now.

"Our business is good, and unfortunately that results in loss of life and property. This is just another effort to reduce that," he said.

While the party-goers celebrate a new year, police officers step up patrols in an attempt to keep everyone safe.

Authorities also enforced the No Refusal law for DUI arrests Monday night. That means an officer could call a judge and quickly obtain a search warrant to take a blood sample from someone arrested for driving under the influence.

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