NWGA Scanner | May 22nd, 2021

Law enforcement conducts annual “Hands Across The Border” DUI checkpoint

With states seeing an increase in alcohol-related crashes and deaths, law enforcement looked to get more drunk and drugged drivers off the road during the 30th annual “Hands Across the Border” DUI enforcement and awareness campaign on May 21st, 2021. The Hands Across the Border traffic enforcement campaign kicks off every year leading up to Memorial Day weekend, when Georgia law enforcement will join fellow officers, troopers, and deputies in Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee to conduct joint road checks in their respective states. “We are fortunate to have neighbors who are as committed as we are in Georgia to saving lives on our roads and that they are always ready to work with us during the year on other projects that promote save driving,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said. Hands Across the Border began in Kingsland, Georgia in 1991 as a friendly wager between the Georgia State Patrol and Florida Highway Patrol to see which agency could reduce the number of DUI deaths in the southeast Georgia and northeast Florida area. Within ten years, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee joined the multi-state effort to save lives on roads across the southeastern United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 10,511 drunk-driving deaths nationwide in 2018. That averages to one person being killed in an alcohol-related crash every 50 minutes on a daily basis. The number of alcohol-related deaths in Georgia in 2018 (375) increased by five percent from the previous year (356). That means one out of four traffic deaths in Georgia in 2018 was alcohol-related. “One person killed by a drunk or drugged driver is one too many, and the only way to prevent drunk driving crashes is for people to make the right decision to not get behind the wheel when they are too impaired to drive,” Poole said. Georgia State Patrol troopers, officers with Ringgold, Polk County, Emerson, and Georgia Department of Community Service participated in the event last night. The checkpoint was near the state line on Chickamauga Avenue in Walker County. Chattanooga Police Department Traffic Division posted on their Facebook page saying: “Tonight the Chattanooga Police Department Traffic/DUI Unit teamed up with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Georgia State Patrol, Hamilton County Sheriff Office and several other law enforcement agencies for the Hands Across the Border safety checkpoint. This effort led to the arrest of multiple impaired drivers as well as the inspection, adjustment, or replacement of over 25 child restraints.”