Funding Renewed for Two State Patrol DUI Programs

November 7, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEWS RELEASE

 

FUNDING RENEWED FOR TWO STATE PATROL DUI PROGRAMS

 

(ATLANTA)—Two Georgia State Patrol programs have been awarded grant funds for the coming year.  Colonel Bill Hitchens announced today that funding for the Georgia State Patrol Nighthawks as well as the agency’s Administrative License Suspension (ALS) program has been approved for a grant from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

      The ALS program and the GSP Nighthawks were created in 2004.  Under the ALS program, Georgia State Troopers receive training, legal assistance and, in some cases, legal representation as they testify at Administrative License Suspension hearings for people charged with driving under the influence.  In Georgia, under certain circumstances, the State can administratively suspend the driver’s license and the ALS hearing is held when the motorist contests the suspension.  Former prosecutor Dee Brophy is the ALS attorney who developed the program and represents troopers at the ALS hearings. 

      As part of her duties, Ms. Brophy files pre-trial motions or assists the troopers with filing the motions as well as conducting the direct examination of the trooper’s testimony at the ALS hearing, introducing relevant documents, conducting cross examination, making objections, and arguing the case at the close of evidence.  She is also available to conduct legal research and file written briefs and post-hearing motions. 

      The GSP Nighthawks is a team of Georgia State Troopers who have undergone specialized training in impaired driving enforcement.  Troopers on the Nighthawks Task Force were recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2005 as the best DUI enforcement unit in North America as part of their annual Chiefs’ Challenge.  The troopers have arrested 679 people for driving under the influence so far this year.  Last year, the team made 1,054 DUI arrests.

      The Nighthawks began patrols in the fall of 2004 and patrol in Fulton, Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties during the peak hours for impaired drivers.

      Impaired drivers account for almost one-third of the traffic deaths on Georgia roads each year and the effort to reduce that number is one of the objectives of the Nighthawk DUI Task Force.

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Contact Information: 
DPS Public Information Office