A local sheriff’s department worked to make central Georgia’s highways safer this holiday weekend, but they used some tricky tactics.
The Twiggs County Sheriff’s Department spent Friday and Saturday busting impaired drivers on Interstate 16. Sheriff Darren Mitchum says he sees more drivers drunk or on drugs on holiday weekends.
“We’re just trying to do all that we can to save lives and to make the highways safe for everybody to travel,” he said.
The sheriff’s department put up a sign around mile marker 26, to warn people of a D.U.I. checkpoint ahead. But they know that people who are drunk or on drugs will get off on the next exit, to try to avoid the checkpoint. That’s why they actually put the checkpoint off of exit 27.
Exit 27 has no restaurants or gas stations, so if someone can’t explain why they got off there, deputies get suspicious. They may give a field sobriety test or have a drug dog sniff around the car.
Deputy Josh Hasty is on the K-9 unit with Twiggs County.
“It makes the job a lot more easy. These dogs can get us inside a vehicle a lot of the time and find stuff that we may not be able to find that’s hidden in a car,” he said about his dog Creo.
On Friday, deputies made 32 arrests, 11 of them involving drugs. They found five wanted people and busted others for D.U.I. and open containers. Deputy Hasty says he doesn’t feel bad for people who were trying to avoid a checkpoint.
“If we can take more drunk drivers off the highway and impaired drivers and get narcotics off of the streets that’s the less things we have to worry about,” he said.
People who weren’t driving under the influence got to drive away. Those who got citations or even arrested learned if they hadn’t pulled off the highway, they’d have one less thing on their record.
The Twiggs County Sheriff’s Department worked with the Middle Georgia Traffic Enforcement Network at this checkpoint. They ran the checkpoint all afternoon and evening Friday and Saturday. Sheriff Mitchum says they run that same checkpoint annually on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Carly Flynn Morgan – 13wmaz.com