Weekend DUI Stops - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Weekend DUI Stops

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Close to three dozen South Georgians face DUI charges after two nights of road checks.

Officers arrested 26 people Saturday night and Sunday morning in Dougherty and Lee Counties.

Some people who did not want to go on camera told me they didn't think it was right for the Georgia State Patrol to hold road checks during A.S.U.'s homecoming celebration. GSP Commanders said they had no idea it was homecoming when they planned the road checks.

The Georgia State Patrol road checks commander tells me he had no idea it was homecoming weekend when they planned the checks, but found out quickly about Albany State homecoming and the Big Pine Music Festival.

Trooper First Class Jack Stripling said "We knew we had a lot of people here in town visiting. We wanted to make sure while they were here everyone was safe traveling the roads here in Albany."

Troopers conducted two nights of road checks like these over the weekend. Friday night in Sumter County troopers charged 9 people with driving under the influence.

Saturday night into Sunday morning Troopers conducted three road checks in Dougherty and Lee Counties. 26 people were arrested for DUI and 13 were arrested for drug charges.

Prosecutors said homecoming crowds magnified the dangers of drinking and driving.

Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said "There is a high increase in automobile traffic and foot traffic. So there is a greater danger to be had by persons driving under the influence."

Troopers had zero tolerance at the road checks, even for out of town visitors.

Edwards said "Just don't expect tolerance, because again this is the time when people are most vulnerable."

Critics said many visitors might not want to come back for next year's homecoming because of the road checks. Troopers said they wanted to protect the visitors.

Stripling said "We want them to come back. Just be safe."

Troopers said if you are going to party and drink, just make sure you have a sober driver to take you home.

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