- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Highway Patrol is ramping up traffic enforcement over Memorial Day weekend in an effort to reduce the number of injuries and deaths from accidents.

Last year, 10 people were killed in crashes during the THP’s 78-hour holiday enforcement period, four fewer than in 2012. Seven of last year’s deaths were alcohol-related and three weren’t wearing seat belts.

The enforcement plan includes a “no refusal” period in which troopers can seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected drunken drivers in Cumberland, Giles, McMinn, Rutherford, Sevier, Shelby, Washington and Weakly counties.

During Memorial Day weekend last year, troopers arrested 113 people on suspicion of drunken driving and issued nearly 1,700 seat belt citations.

The Transportation Department is halting all construction projects during the long weekend.

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