published Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Georgia initiative cracking down on impaired drivers during Labor Day holiday

Georgia will be working with its bordering states to reduce the number of people who are driving under the influence this holiday weekend as a part of the national Hands Across the Border initiative.

"Labor Day weekend is a holiday weekend that historically has a lot of DUIs," said Sgt. Ryan Fowler, with the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety Mountain Area Network.

This annual initiative began Tuesday evening with a checkpoint on Rossville Boulevard at the Georgia/Tennessee state line, and increased patrols and more checkpoints will continue throughout the holiday weekend.

"This initiative allows us to have a larger presence on the roads," Fowler said.

Georgia police, state troopers and sheriff's deputies will work together throughout the initiative to patrol Georgia's state lines.

Locally, Whitfield, Catoosa, Dade, Walker, Murray, Gordon, Bartow, Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties will be areas of focus for officers, according to a news release from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

"We bring in local agencies to assist us so that we can have more eyes and ears on the drivers who are out on the road and hopefully prevent accidents and fatalities," Fowler said.

Individual checkpoints historically have provided officers with five to 10 DUI arrests, according to Fowler.

Law enforcement officials hope the Hands Across the Border initiative will show drivers in every corner of the state that driving while impaired will never be tolerated.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6592.

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