Nighthawks out in force for Memorial Day weekend - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Nighthawks out in force for Memorial Day weekend

The Nighthawks have been deployed to get impaired drivers off the road. (Source: WALB) The Nighthawks have been deployed to get impaired drivers off the road. (Source: WALB)
Albany is a hub in South Georgia for nightlife, and law enforcement said that leads to too many drunk drivers. (Source: WALB) Albany is a hub in South Georgia for nightlife, and law enforcement said that leads to too many drunk drivers. (Source: WALB)
State officials said this is your warning the Georgia State Patrol's DUI Task Force is targeting drunk drivers. (Source: WALB) State officials said this is your warning the Georgia State Patrol's DUI Task Force is targeting drunk drivers. (Source: WALB)
State officials said the Nighthawks have a proven track record of getting drunk and drugged drivers out behind the wheel, and behind bars. (Source: WALB) State officials said the Nighthawks have a proven track record of getting drunk and drugged drivers out behind the wheel, and behind bars. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

State officials said drunk drivers are such a problem in Albany, the Georgia State Patrol has deployed a special task force to get them off the roads. 

Albany is a hub in South Georgia for nightlife, and law enforcement said that leads to too many drunk drivers.

The Nighthawks have been deployed to get impaired drivers off the road.

The Nighthawks hit Albany streets Thursday.  

State officials said this is your warning the Georgia State Patrol's DUI Task Force is targeting drunk drivers.

"There is going to be intensified enforcement of traffic laws, particularly driving under the influence, here in Albany Georgia. Hear that now, believe it later," said Governor's Office Of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood. 

Because of high numbers of DUI crashes and arrests in Albany, the state is moving their Nighthawks operation from Macon to Albany.

"Nighthawks. When do they operate?  At night. And they operate predominately at the times when we know that driving drunk is it's heaviest. They are extremely effective," said Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Colonel Mark McDonough.

Albany being a hub for South Georgia entertainment, state officials said too many people are drinking and then driving home impaired. They warn drivers to get a safe ride instead.

"Let me tell you, if you have to call a taxi from Albany to take you back to Blakely or somewhere, it's worth the price of admission. Because a DUI, in this state will cost you north of ten thousand dollars," said Blackwood. 

Albany and Dougherty County law enforcement officials welcomed the Nighthawks Thursday.

"Having some state resources come in is really going to help us out a lot," said Albany Police Chief  Michael Persley. 

State officials said the Nighthawks have a proven track record of getting drunk and drugged drivers out behind the wheel, and behind bars. The sheriff said the jail is prepared for extra DUI arrests.

"We're ready. We got the bed space,"said Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul.

The Nighthawks began patrol Thursday night.

The Nighthawks said they will be in Albany until the DUI problem is improved.    

They are on the streets Thursday, just in time for the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, looking for impaired drivers.

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