Hands Across the Border 2016
“Hands Across the Border” DUI Campaign Begins Monday
Multi-state enforcement effort celebrates 25th anniversary
Law enforcement officers in Georgia and five neighboring states will have zero tolerance for impaired drivers during the 25th annual Hands Across the Border enforcement campaign that will be held leading up to Labor Day weekend.
Impaired drivers will be taken to jail during the week long enforcement campaign in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee that begins Monday, August 29 and ends Friday, September 2.
“I have often said highway safety doesn’t stop at the city limits, county line or even the state line, and our friends on the borders of other states are just as committed to getting impaired drivers, speeding drivers and other dangerous motorists off the road as we are.” said Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “One out of every four fatalities in this state can be attributed to drunk driving and that is a number we can reduce through Hands Across the Border.”
State and local law enforcement officers will be holding road checks at the state line all around Georgia while their counterparts will be holding road checks on their side of the border. State troopers and local law enforcement officers will also be looking for drivers who do not have seat belts buckled, suspended or no driver’s licenses, improper child safety seats and other violations.
The 23 fatalities in Georgia during the 2015 Labor Day holiday weekend were eight more than the state saw during the same period in 2014. There were 3,958 traffic crashes during last year’s 78-hour holiday weekend, with more than 900 injuries. 144 of those crashes were alcohol-related, with 3 fatalities and 61 injuries.
This year marks the 25th anniversary for Hands Across the Border, which started as a friendly competition in 1991 between the Georgia State Patrol and Florida Highway Patrol. The two agencies wanted to see which could have the greatest reduction in alcohol-related traffic fatalities in their respective state. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety soon began coordinating the event and expanded it to include all five states that border Georgia. Law enforcement agencies in all states agree the joint enforcement effort has saved countless lives and will continue to do so in the future.
Hands Across the Border has not only allowed us to build great friendships with our neighboring states but it has also improved our law enforcement by the exchanging of ideas between the participating states,” said Blackwood. “It is just a great program that gets us inspired not only for the Labor Day holiday but also the Thanksgiving and winter holidays.”
Hands Across the Border will have nightly law enforcement safety meetings and multi-state road checks along the Georgia state line in Columbus, Blakely, Valdosta-Lake Park, Ft. Oglethorpe, McCaysville, Augusta and Savannah. The week will conclude at the Georgia Welcome Center on Interstate 95 in Kingsland, where the first HATB took place in 1991.