Police stress safety for New Year’s

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Over the weekend, the Tennessee Highway Patrol will increase their traffic stops.

In 2005, 44 percent of fatalities THP troopers responded to were due to drivers who had been drinking, authorities said.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, more troopers will be on Tennessee’s highways, conducting traffic stops from Memphis to Knoxville and Lawrenceburg to Clarksville.

"We’re going to make as many traffic stops as we can," said Orville Lewis of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. "We’re going to try to to identify those drivers that are impaired and we’re going to try to get them off the road and make it safe for everybody."

The state Safety Department reported seven Thanksgiving weekend traffic fatalities.

Metro police will also patrol the streets. On Friday, officers will conduct a sobriety checkpoint near White Bridge Pike and Knob Road in West Nashville. Saturday night’s checkpoint will be conducted near Dickerson Pike and Rivergate.

For people who feel they’ve had too much fun and need a safe ride home on New Year’s Eve, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department is offering free rides to anyone who calls between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The Sober Ride number is 862-RIDE. NewsChannel 5 has sponsored Sober Ride since 1983.