Law enforcement agencies across the state are ramping up its efforts ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“With the holiday falling on the weekend this year, police officers, sheriff's deputies and state troopers from Ringgold to St. Mary's and everywhere in between will be working to save lives and prevent crashes by taking drunk and drugged drivers off the road,” according to a statement from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said 193 people died nationwide in traffic crashes in 2018 in the 36-hour period before, during and after the holiday, with 40% of those deaths coming from wrecks with alcohol involved.
“According to the Georgia State Patrol, 26 people were killed in traffic crashes statewide during last year’s 102-hour July 4 holiday period that began at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3 and ended at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. Troopers made 422 DUI arrests and issued more than 29,000 citations and warnings during the holiday weekend,” according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Gainesville Police said they will be making a “larger presence,” with the special operations unit out assisting the patrol division.
The traffic unit will be looking for impaired and distracted drivers, Sgt. Kevin Holbrook wrote in an email.
“We are hoping that everyone will keep safety in mind, both on the roadways and at home. We encourage the public to be mindful of social distancing and COVID-19 precautions,” Holbrook said.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources Maj. Mike England said the agency will be “out in full force” looking for impaired boat operators and other safety violations. England said improper lights on boats is a leading cause for collisions.
There will be four boats patrolling Lake Lanier, with eight officers per day on the water and four officers on land.