Rhea County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office [THSO] to increase impaired-driving enforcement through Feb. 28.

The Rhea County Sheriff’s Department will focus their efforts on alcohol and traffic enforcement targeting alcohol and speed violations for the month of February. The sheriff’s department will conduct highly visible saturation patrol and sobriety checkpoints.

To ensure the safety of the motoring public, the sheriff’s department will be enforcing a zero tolerance policy on speeding, drunk and impaired driving and seat belt violations.

“We can’t stand to see this tragic loss of life again and again,” said Rhea County Sheriff Mike Neal. “The hardest part of the job is making that house call and telling a family that their loved one is gone because someone chose to drink and drive. Please, find a safe and sober ride home.”

Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of drunk driving, coupled with increased sobriety checkpoints and high visibility enforcement, aim to drastically reduce the number of drunk-driving crashes, injuries and fatalities this year.

The consequences of a single DUI conviction for a first-time offender in the state of Tennessee may include costly fines, court costs, legal fees, jail time, mandatory drug and alcohol treatment and/or the installation of an ignition interlock device in his/her vehicle.

The THSO provides grant funding to support Rhea County Sheriff’s Department’s increased enforcement efforts. For more information about the THSO, please, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.