Saturday, August 24, 2013

Safety First on Labor Day on the Road

Partying may be how most people will end their summer this Labor Day, but Georgia law enforcement and their partners across state lines will be on the lookout leading up to the holiday in case motorists take that party on the road by driving impaired.

During the 22nd annual Hands Across the Border campaign, Georgia law enforcement will be meeting their counterparts in communities near the Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida state lines to conduct road checks. In the past, the campaign has had a history of catching not only drunk drivers, but drug offenders, fugitives, drivers with outstanding warrants, unlicensed and uninsured drivers and those transporting improperly restrained child passengers.

For six days leading up to Labor Day weekend, police, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers throughout Georgia will rendezvous in communities near the state line to set up checkpoints and catch impaired drivers entering and leaving Georgia. They will also gather with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) at state welcome centers for media interviews and the traditional handshake to signify their partnership in this year’s campaign. But it’s not about the media attention…Georgia’s peace officers will be launching this high-visibility enforcement campaign to put a serious dent in the number of impaired drivers Georgia sees at the end of the summer.

“So many people see Labor Day as the unofficial end of summer and want to hit the road before fall rolls around,” said Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “Because so many people are going to be travelling leading up to Labor Day weekend, we want to make sure that drunk drivers don’t turn someone’s summer of fun into a summer of tragedy.”
And no matter what side of the state line impaired drivers are caught, the same rules apply. That’s because .08 is the legal BAC limit in all 50 states. Drivers won’t be able to claim ignorance of the law as a visitor to Georgia because the limit is the same no matter where you’re from. If you’re over the limit, you’ll be under arrest.

“It is far too easy to arrange for a sober driver and far too irresponsible not to,” said Director Blackwood. “This increased police presence for the holiday will remind everyone that Georgia has a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving. You won’t get a warning. You will be arrested and you will go to jail.”

Hands Across the Border will kick off on Sunday, August 25th and continue through Friday, August 30th.

“Locally, you will see increased enforcement and patrols as well as road checks from Sunday August 25th through Monday, September 2nd. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office will be working closely with our partners from across the river and alongside DNR on the river to ensure our roadways and waterways are as safe as possible for law abiding individuals to enjoy their holiday travels”, said Lt. Lewis Blanchard of the Richmond County Office.

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