DPS Receives H.E.A.T. Grant to Expand DUI Squad

December 16, 2009

(ATLANTA)—The Georgia State Patrol has been awarded a traffic safety H.E.A.T. grant of almost $1.8 million from the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety.  The grant will allow for the expansion of the GSP Nighthawk DUI Task Force and continue funding for the department’s Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Program.

     H.E.A.T. stands for Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic and the primary goals are to reduce impaired driving crashes; reduce excessive speeding; increase the safety belt usage rate; and educate the public about traffic 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.  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.  The Task Force recently added six troopers to the metro Atlanta team and a new team began work last month in the Savannah-Statesboro area.

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

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Contact Information: 
DPS Public Information Office