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A lot of folks are expected to start their Cinco de Mayo celebrations early this weekend, and law enforcement will be out in force to make sure they are driving safely.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) plans to conduct an aggressive enforcement campaign this weekend and through Monday's holiday.

The enforcement effort is part of the THP's year-long "Drive to Zero Fatalities" campaign. Troopers will actively patrol and focus on areas across Tennessee utilizing historical crash data.

Troopers will also hold several seatbelt, driver license, and sobriety checkpoints across the state to get impaired and unlicensed drivers off the roads.

"Cinco de Mayo can be a fun holiday, but it can also be a dangerous one for those who choose to drink and get behind the wheel," Colonel Tracy Trott said. "Our goal for this weekend, and every day, is zero fatalities. By using data-driven enforcement we have a greater chance of preventing crashes and saving lives on Tennessee's roadways," he added.

Eight people dies in traffic crashes during the 2013 Cinco de Mayo holiday period.

As of May 1, 264 motorists have been killed on Tennessee roadways this calendar year, which is 16 fewer traffic fatalities than the same time last year.

Advice from THP on staying safe for Cinco de Mayo:

  • Plan Ahead. If you plan to drink, arrange a safe way home with a designated driver before the festivities begin.
  • If you're impaired, call a taxi, use public transportation, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Use the local Sober Ride program.·
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, promptly contact your local law enforcement agency (Dial *THP)·
  • Remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you or someone you know is about to ride with one that is impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

List of scheduled THP checkpoints in East Tennessee:

  • Union County- S.R. 61 at Corryton-Luttrell Rd.
  • Loudon County- U.S. 70 at Creekwood Blvd.
  • Sevier County- Browdre Hollow Rd. at Stevens/Foster
  • Roane County- U.S. 27 at Morgan County line
  • Sevier County- Goosegap Rd. at Sugarloaf Rd.
  • Union County- Cherokee Trail at Cherokee Bluff Dr.
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