UPDATE from the Press Conference held by the Governor's Highway Safety Office in Murfreesboro

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Drive responsibly and don't drink and drive were the messages sent Friday by more than 100 law enforcement officers in Middle Tennessee.

The Governor's Highway Safety Office sponsored the press conference at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.

GHSO Director Kendell Poole said December is Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month. Alcohol and drug use is blamed for about one-third of traffic fatalities in Tennessee.

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Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Miller said troopers wear lapel pins stating "Zero, meaning zero traffic fatalities are acceptable within our friends and family." He urged drivers to only accept zero fatalities by buckling up and not driving impaired.

District Attorney Jennings Jones said drivers who kill will be prosecuted.

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"We will see you spend years behind bars," Jones said. "If you choose to drink, do not drive."

Rutherford County Sheriff's Maj. Egon Grissom said deputies will be patrolling extra hours during the holiday from funds provided by GHSO. They will be enforcing DUI laws with the goal of zero fatalities.

"Drunk driving is a choice you make," Grissom said.

All law enforcement agencies in the county work as a team to enforce traffic laws, he said.

Tony Burnett, who is the GHSO Law Enforcement Liaison for Middle Tennessee, urged drivers to celebrate the holidays safely and responsibly. Otherwise, families risk empty spots around the table during Christmas dinner.

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Kendell Poole, Murfreesboro, Murfreesboro news, WGNS News, WGNS. Egon Grissom
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