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17 DUIs, 150+ citations issued over St. Patrick’s Day weekend

More than 150 citations were written by law enforcement during a 12-hour St. Patrick’s Day operation, according to police.

Proactively Impacting Numerous Crash Hotspots, or PINCH, also picked up 17 drivers for DUI between 3 p.m. Saturday, March 17, and 3 a.m. Sunday, March 18.

Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said the department will usually have a handful of DUI arrests on a typical weekend night.

“One of our goals and objectives for the year is to reduce crashes. Our main focus is to prevent injuries and fatalities, so this goes along with that,” he said.

Gainesville Police, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety worked together on the operation. In total, there were 63 speeding citations, 16 distracted driving citations and 73 seat belt citations.

“Additionally, officers made 47 miscellaneous contacts. Those include: child safety violations, drug arrests, suspended license and other violations of Georgia law,” Holbrook said in a statement.

Holbrook said authorities focused on the high-crash corridors — Dawsonville Highway, Jesse Jewell Parkway, E.E. Butler Parkway and the connecting side streets — with a safety checkpoint on John Morrow Parkway. Gainesville Police put a map marking these areas on its social media pages ahead of the holiday weekend.

“The surprise to us was that we did have so many DUIs even after announcing to the public what we were going to be doing,” Holbrook said.

The sergeant added that there were no crashes reported in those areas during the 12-hour operation.