MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - They're out for blood, and we're not talking about vampires. Tennessee law enforcement officers are on the lookout for drunk drivers.
You used to be able to say "no" to a blood test, but a new state law changed that. It is all part of a "No Refusal" DUI enforcement campaign running through Labor Day Night. That means if an officer suspects you of drunk driving, they can get a warrant for a blood test. Before, you could refuse the test.
"We got a new tool in the tool box, no refusal, gives us the opportunity where a person can not refuse the test," said Sgt. Michael Pope, with the Metro DUI Unit.
The stepped-up enforcement comes after the Tennessee General Assembly passed new laws allowing investigators to seek search warrants for blood samples.
"If your weekend plans include having a few drinks and getting behind the wheel, listen up," said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. "Thanks to our lawmakers, you will not be able to hide behind the refusal law. If you drink and drive, you give our prosecutors the best evidence with which to convict you."
There is good reason for the increased vigilance.
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there was a 15 percent increase in the number of alcohol-related accidents this year compared to last year.
Statewide, DUI arrests from January through Mid-August spiked by 29 percent, from 2,757 to 3,557.
"It is going to be very busy," Pope said.