Law enforcement starts D.U.I. crackdown - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement starts D.U.I. crackdown

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Someone in America dies in a drunk driving crash 40 times a day.   That's why law enforcers all over Georgia are encouraging people to make this fourth-of-July holiday a blast, not a bust.  

Today, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety kicks-off Operation Zero Tolerance for the July 4th travel period.  

It's something we hear all the time. Don't drink and drive. Unfortunately, many people don't really hear the message, until someone they know, or love is hurt or killed by a drunk driver. .

It's been two weeks since the Ford Town of Albany family, lost one of their own. But the pain still lingers.  "It was a tremendous loss for us and his family," said George Harris of Ford Town of Albany. 

On June 2nd, David Sledge was thrown from his motorcycle after being hit by a drunk driver on Ledo Road. "The one we lost was loved by so many, he was very giving and helpful to others," said Harris.

 Unfortunately, Hundreds of Georgians like Sledge die every year in alcohol related crashes. That's why Dougherty County Police are pushing for change. "We're going to patrol down this section of roadway here," said Lt. Tom Jackson of the Dougherty Co. Police.

Through July 5th, you can expect to see an increase in DCP patrols. "We'll get out here, and we're looking for people under the influence of alcohol," said Jackson.

During the holiday season week we've got coming up one of five people will be consuming alcohol on the road over the 4th. And in Georgia, one of five fatal crashes is alcohol related. 

"A lot of people don't realize you can drink three beers and be at .08"

 A good thing to remember when you're partying at the lake. The quickest way to ruin a celebration is with an accident on the road, or the loss of a loved one.

"There will be zero tolerance. You will go to jail, and you will spend the night in jail," Jackson said.    

 If you're out late drinking, you can still get a DUI the next morning, even if you don't feel drunk. Also, if you see a friend drinking, don't let him or her drive.

And finally, your best protection is a seat belt. It's the one thing you can always control. 

DCP made 37 DUI arrests so far this year, with only one alcohol-related fatality so far. Last year they made 123 DUI arrests.

Southwest Georgia will officially start the campaign with a road check in Mitchell County tonight, where agencies from 12 different counties will participate.

    • Click HERE For more statistics on drunk driving and road safety in Georgia.

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