State troopers continue ‘Hands Across Borders’ initiative

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 10:54 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2022 at 10:57 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s all hands on deck in the Peach state and Lowcountry for the last holiday of the summer.

Law enforcement agencies will be out conducting joint public safety checkpoints all weekend.

South Carolina and Georgia state troopers are continuing a now 31-year-tradition “Hands Across Borders”.

They see way too many people driving recklessly and under the influence and they’re hoping that won’t be the case this weekend.

“We want zero fatalities on the roadways and we aren’t gonna be happy until that happens,” said Nick Pye, Lance Corporal for South Carolina Highway Patrol.

This year is no different than years past — South Carolina and Georgia state troopers will have an increased presence and sobriety checkpoints.

“This is your’re getting your warning from me tonight. Don’t drink and drive because if you get pulled over by an officer with blue lights on you’re gonna get a citation and wind up going to jail. We won’t allow you to call friends or family because you made a selfish act to get behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Allen Poole, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, “more than 30% of the persons killed in crashes from 2016 to 2020 involved a drunk driver. 63% of those were twice the legal limit,”

In 2021, 22 people were killed in traffic crashes.

“No trooper or law enforcement officer wants to knock on someone’s door and let them know a loved one, neighbor or friend is lost because of an accident,” said Allen Poole, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia.

They also said they’re watching for distracted drivers.

“This is a hands free state meaning it should not touch any part of your body while you’re operating a motor vehicle,” said Maurice Raines, Lieutenant for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia.

Law enforcement agencies said the last thing they want to do is give out DUI citations.

“People are going to partake in drinking alcohol and when they do that we see people who didn’t have a plan in place before they start drinking. We see them get themselves in trouble and end up behind bars.”

So for the next several days and the days after that, think of others while you’re on the road.

“Speeding...slow down. Buckle up your seatbelt. It may save your life,” Raines said.

Law enforcement said even if you aren’t out celebrating this weekend, make sure you are being a defensive driver and take your time.