//VPD participates in 30th Annual “Hands Across the Border” Campaign

VPD participates in 30th Annual “Hands Across the Border” Campaign

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Valdosta Police are participating in the annual “Hands Across the Border” Impaired Driving Enforcement Campaign – working to prevent DUI crashes by taking drunk and drugged drivers off the road. On Wednesday, September 1, VPD Officers joined the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, and Florida Highway Patrol to host a press conference about the Hands Across the Border Campaign.

Caption: Photo of DUI check point provided by the City of Valdosta

This year marks 30 years that officers in Georgia have been working with surrounding states prevent impaired driving crashes, deaths, and injuries by taking drunk and drugged drivers off the road.  Officers will conduct sobriety road checks on either side of their respective state lines and send a message that drunk and drugged driving is never tolerated in the southeast.  

These officers want to remind everyone planning to include alcohol during the Labor Day holiday weekend to not make the wrong choice to drive after drinking because all drivers found to be over the limit will be arrested. No excuses.  No exceptions.

Caption: Photo of DUI check point provided by the City of Valdosta

“Hands Across the Border is a joint effort between Law Enforcement Agencies in Florida and Georgia to help reduce traffic violations that could result in significant injuries. Because crime does not stay in one area, events like this are a good opportunity for us to connect with other neighboring agencies and work together to alleviate these issues,” said Valdosta Police Department Sergeant Jeff Stokes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is a factor in one out of every four traffic deaths in the state.  However, NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data shows that 30 percent of the 97 people who died traffic crashes from Friday through Monday during the Labor Day holiday in Georgia from 2015-2019 were killed in a crash that involved a driver whose BAC was above the legal limit of .08 and 18 percent of those who died in crashes during the same time period were killed in a crash that involved a driver with a BAC twice the legal limit.  

In the states of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee, 35 percent of the 462 people killed in crashes from Friday through Monday during Labor Day holiday weekend from 2015-19 died in a crash that involved a driver whose BAC was above the legal limit and 20 percent those who died in Labor Day holiday weekend crashes during the same time period were killed in a crash that involved a driver whose BAC was twice the legal limit during the in the five southeastern states.