23rd Annual 'Hands Across The Border' Campaign Comes To A Close In South Georgia

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Updated By: Winnie Wright
August 29, 2014

Valdosta, GA - All week long, as we head in to the holiday weekend, law enforcement across six states have banned together to prevent drunk driving.

3 DUI arrests, 4 people arrested for not having a license, three people arrested for driving with a Suspended License, 17 Child Restraint Violations, 1 Seat Belt Violation, and even a Car Chase.. in which the Driver was In Possession of Cocaine.

Its been a busy week for law enforcement in South Georgia.

"The 'Hands Across The Border Campaign in Valdosta, Lake Park, and Lowndes County more than exceeded our expectations. Approximately 36 agencies with 132 law enforcement officers came out to help out", says Lt. Mike Adams, with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.

All week long, local law enforcement have set up road blocks in communities across the Florida/Georgia Line. According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, each year the "Hands Across The Border" campaign runs the six days leading up to Labor Day weekend. The campaign, which ends Friday, joins law enforcement from across six states for one common goal, catching drunk drivers.

Authorities say just because 'Hands Across The Border' is ending on Friday, doesn't mean that law enforcement is going to be cutting drivers any slack this holiday weekend.

"'Operation Zero Tolerance' is still in affect, and officers will be out in full force this weekend, looking for impaired drivers. Valdosta Police Department wants you to have a safe holiday and make it home alive", says Sgt. Jeremyah Jones, with the Valdosta Police Department.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety is also coordinating "100 Days of Summer HEAT" this labor day, to catch drivers who speed, drive aggressively, and don't use seat belts.

Updated By: Winnie Wright
August 27, 2014

Lowndes County, GA - If you plan on drinking and driving this Labor Day Weekend, law enforcement has one simple message for you.

"This is your warning. There will be no excuses", says Captain Chris Wright, with Georgia State Patrol.

All week long, national, state, and countless local law enforcement agencies have set up joint road blocks in cities across the Florida/Georgia line checking for everything from seat belt violations, to outstanding warrants, and drunk drivers.

"One thing I really enjoy is the whole family of law enforcement gathering together at one time; Florida and Georgia, after the same goal; to keep the drunks off the road and making our roads safer", says Lowndes County Sheriff, Chris Prine.

As a symbol of unity between law enforcement from both states, dozens of officers, troopers, and deputies actually caravaned from the Florida Welcome Center, to the Georgia Welcome Center on I-75.

Authorities say Georgia is entering September with under 700 traffic fatalities for the first time in over 60 years, but Labor Day Weekend is notorious for a spike in drunk driving accidents.

"On average in 2012, one person was killed every 51 minutes in an alcohol impaired driving crash", says Sandy Richardson, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That's why, authorities from both states say they are cranking up the heat.

"Our goal is very simple this year, to save lives and make the last summer holiday weekend a fun, safe, and enjoyable weekend", says Major Eileen Powell, with Florida Highway Patrol.

Authorities say no matter which state you're in, the same rules apply when it comes to drinking and driving. The blood alcohol limit in all fifty states is .08.

Updated by: Winnie Wright
August 26, 2014

Echols County, GA - Law enforcement from Florida, Georgia, and four other states have a simple message this weekend. "Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over."

The push comes as part of the "Hands Across The Border" campaign leading up to Labor Day Weekend.

Law enforcement set up a road block at 376 and J. Frank Culpepper Road in Echols County where Sheriff's Deputies are checking for impaired drivers, outstanding warrants, and even car seat violations.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office is just one entity taking part in the "Hands Across the Border" campaign. Together, six states will be working this week through labor day weekend to cut back on the high number of impaired drivers that are caught on the road during the holiday. The Sheriff's Office says though many laws differ from state to state, the legal limit for drinking is always .08.

Wednesday, law enforcement from both Florida and Georgia will ride from the Florida Welcome Center to the Georgia Welcome Center as a symbol of their unity when it comes to protecting local roads from drunk drivers.

Winnie Wright
August 25, 2014

Valdosta, GA - The "Hands Across The Border" campaign kicked off Sunday and includes law enforcement from six states.

The Valdosta Police Department says they see a rise in drunk driving over the Labor Day Weekend, so, for six days, local law enforcement will work together setting up road-blocks, DUI check points, and even making sure kids are properly restrained.

"There are different laws in different states, but the Operation Zero Tolerance laws are the same in Georgia and in Florida. A DUI is .08, and that is the same for here as well as in Florida. That's why we work together, and we show the community that it might be a different state, but it's the same laws", says Sgt. Jeremyah Jones, with the Valdosta Police Department.

Tuesday, road blocks will be set up in Lowndes and Echols counties. And on Wednesday, local law enforcement will ride from the Florida to the Georgia Welcome Centers to signify the partnership.

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