Hands Across the Border

Highway Patrol officers in both Georgia and Florida say Labor Day weekend is generally one of the most deadly of the year because of drinking and driving, so they started a campaign Wednesday in an effort to save lives.

It's a sight no law enforcement officer wants to see; two totaled vehicles and the loss of a young life, all due to drunk driving.

Tybee Diskin, a mock accident victim, says, "We're just trying to bring it home for the kids who think this can never happen to them."

Fortunately for everyone involved in Wednesday's “accident” it was only a demonstration to kick off Florida and Georgia law enforcement's Labor Day DUI crackdown.

SGT Chris Chase of the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, “Labor Day, a lot of people party with it being a long weekend. It historically has been one of our deadliest weekends, so we're trying to send the message prior to the weekend [which is] don't drink and drive."

Twenty people were killed on Georgia roads over Labor Day weekend 2003, 17 of those were alcohol-related. Florida law enforcement officials say they had even more. Law enforcement officials from Florida and Georgia say they're beefing up DUI checkpoints in both states this weekend to try to avoid similar tragedies.

CAPT George Whittaker of the Georgia State Patrol says, "We will be out in force trying to hold down the drunk drivers and the speeders and the seat belt laws, things that are so critical in saving lives."

Law enforcement in both states will have increased patrol officers as well as sobriety checkpoints. They say if folks want to drink this weekend, they should think twice before getting behind the wheel.

FHP has at least 13 checkpoints scheduled throughout the area this weekend. The Georgia State Patrol will have officers stationed along Highway 319 from the Florida state line northward.


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