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More crashes prompted more police presence for holiday
Law enforcement adjusted after numerous wrecks a year earlier
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To curb the increased car crashes from last year, law enforcement working on New Year’s Eve stepped up its presence around Gainesville and Hall County.

The special operations divisions for both the Gainesville Police and Hall County Sheriff’s Office were out in full force for Thursday’s holiday going into Friday.

“They focused on the high-traffic, high-crash corridors,” Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said, with a heavy focus on Dawsonville Highway and E.E. Butler Parkway through Green Street.

According to the Hall County jail log, four DUI arrests were made between the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol and Gainesville Police on Thursday. Nine DUI arrests were recorded on New Year’s Day.

“We focused on seat belt usage, distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding for the most part through the holiday weekend,” Holbrook said.

Last year’s holiday resulted in six DUI arrests between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Multiple officers could be seen up and down Dawsonville Highway on this year’s holiday.

“When people see more officers on the roadway, they’re less likely to get behind the wheel,” Holbrook said.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes said the number of citations were up because of more people out on the roadways. The Sheriff’s Office recorded 60 speeding tickets, 36 warnings and two DUI citations for the New Year’s holiday.

“It was our goal (on New Year’s Eve) to have concentrated traffic enforcement throughout the county,” Bailes previously told The Times. “There has been a tragic rise in fatal motor vehicle accidents on our roadways in Hall County this year. We wanted to be aggressive to ensure motorists arrived at their destinations safely. We want drivers to slow down, and drive responsibly.”

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