23rd annual ‘Hands Across the Border’ DUI campaign starts Sunday

ozthomepage-01Authorities from 5 states partner with Georgia to combat impaired driving


(ATLANTA) 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 in case motorists take that party on the road by driving impaired.

During the 23rd 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 at state welcome centers for media interviews and the traditional handshake to signify their partnership in this year’s campaign. However, it is 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.

“We want people to realize that no matter where they go in the southeast, law enforcement in every state are committed to keeping impaired drivers off the road,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “Whether you’re just passing through on the way to the beach or staying close to home, officers on both sides of the state line will be ready to take you to jail if you’re caught driving drunk.”

And no matter what side of the state line impaired drivers are caught, the same rules apply. The legal blood alcohol limit in all 50 states is .08. 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 live.

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

Hands Across the Border will kick off on Sunday, Aug. 24 and continue through Friday, Aug. 29. Law enforcement will be sending a message to every corner of the state that impaired driving will not be tolerated.

This year’s Hands Across the Bordercampaign runs concurrent with the nationwide Labor Day impaired driving mobilization, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. In Georgia, it’s Operation Zero Tolerance, which means if you’re over the limit, you’ll be under arrest. GOHS is also coordinating the “100 Days of Summer HEAT” initiative this Labor Day to raise awareness about the deadly consequences of speed, aggressive driving, and failure to use safety belts and child restraints.

For more information about Operation Zero Tolerance, Hands Across the Borderand the “100 Days of Summer HEAT”, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org

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