GSP Planning St. Patrick's Day DUI Patrols

March 6, 2007

(ATLANTA) State Troopers across Georgia are making plans for increased DUI patrols on St. Patricks Day this Saturday. Traditionally one of the heavier nights for impaired drivers, troopers are concerned because St. Patricks Day falls on a weekend this year. Colonel Bill Hitchens, Georgia Public Safety Commissioner, said Thursday troopers across the state will be teaming with local law enforcement officers for stepped up patrols to target impaired drivers as well as helping secure celebrations across the state.

Troopers will be assisting local officers in Savannah for the massive St. Patricks Day Parade and then patrolling Saturday night for impaired drivers, he said. In Atlanta, the Nighthawks DUI Task Force will join troopers from the Georgia State Patrol posts in Kennesaw, Atlanta and Forest Park to patrol Fulton, Cobb, Clayton, Dekalb and Gwinnett counties. State troopers encourage party hosts to take steps in advance to make for a safe celebration. Hosts should be sure all of their guests designate a sober driver in advance; have the telephone numbers for local cab companies handy; serve lots of food particularly high-protein dishes; be sure to include plenty of non-alcoholic beverages, desserts and coffee; and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.

Designate your sober driver in advance, he said. If you consume alcohol, dont drive. Troopers will not hesitate to arrest an impaired driver and impound their vehicle. The Georgia State Patrol Nighthawks DUI Task Force is funded with a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administered through the Georgia Governors Office of Highway Safety. The Nighthawks are 10 troopers specially trained in impaired driving detection and enforcement.

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DPS Public Information Office