The Union Recorder

July 2, 2013

GSP targets drunk drivers in traffic campaign

Felicia Cummings
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Law enforcement agencies across the state launched a statewide zero tolerance DUI campaign Monday on land and water for July Fourth holiday traffic, according to a press release from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. 

Operation Zero Tolerance (OZT) aims to make sure drunk boaters don’t become drunk drivers and vice versa. Col. Eddie Henderson, chief of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, Col. Mark McDonough, commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Public Safety, and Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, began their statewide tour in a series of news conferences to remind all Georgia motorists of the state’s DUI laws. 

Troopers will be working with local officers and deputies in their areas for concentrated patrols and roadchecks to remove impaired drivers from the roads during this busy travel period. Locally, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, Milledgeville Police Department and the Department of Natural Resources will all play an important part in OZT. 

“Our agency’s traffic unit will be taking part in Operation Zero Tolerance by being out working July Fourth looking for impaired or intoxicated drivers,” said Capt. Michael Lumpkin of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. 

Lumpkin also encourages careful planning for holiday activities.  

“Travelers should plan to leave early enough to allow for traffic problems and wear your seatbelts,” he said. 

Maj. John Davis of the Milledgeville Police Department also advises motorists to plan ahead and choose a designated driver.

“We, along with other area law enforcement agencies, will be actively participating in the GOHS Operation Zero Tolerance campaign. We urge anyone who is going to include alcohol in their holiday celebration to please plan ahead and identify a designated driver or take a taxi. A DUI conviction can adversely affect your employment, your finances and, most importantly, it places the driver and the general public at great risk,” said Davis. 

According to DNR Cpl. Josh Copelan, DNR rangers will patrol areas on Lake Sinclair that are known for BUI arrests Fourth July and after the holiday. 

“We understand it’s the holiday and everyone wants to enjoy themselves but we also would like everyone to be safe and sober as well,” Copelan said. 

From July 4 through July 7, the Georgia State Patrol will also participate in the nationwide traffic safety initiative, Operation C.A.R.E, or Combined Accident Reduction Effort. State troopers will join other state highway patrols and state police agencies from the United States and Canada in conducting high visibility patrols and providing safety education to the motoring public in an effort to reduce the number of traffic deaths on the road. This is the third of six Operation C.A.R.E. holiday enforcement periods of the year.

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