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Holiday road checks see dramatic decline of DUI offenses from Operation Thunder in 2013

Saturday, July 5, 2014 7:03 PM
Last updated 10:07 PM
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The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office netted more than a dozen DUI offenders during a five-hour period Friday, but that might be a positive sign, the department said.

In a news release Satur­day, the department said the arrests resulted from road checks at three locations: Richmond Hill, Washington and Furys Ferry roads.

While the number is still uncomfortably high, deputies noticed a dramatic decline from arrests during Ope­ration Thunder, a 90-day initiative last year by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to crack down on traffic violations and fatalities.

Deputies arrested 13 people for DUI on July Fourth, according to the release, while some nights during Operation Thunder saw as many as 40 arrests.

“Typically, during a Fourth of July weekend over 50 percent of crashes are directly related to alcohol consumption,” the release said. “As of Saturday, July 5, at 3 p.m., Richmond County roadways have not had any crashes resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.”

There were 55 citations issued Friday for children who weren’t in child safety seats. Police also made three misdemeanor drug arrests and served three felony warrants at the traffic stops. Deputies stopped 19 people driving on a suspended license.

The sheriff’s office announced that it will continue to work in tandem with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia State Patrol through Sunday in an effort to combat offenders with an increased presence.


On Friday, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office conducted road checks on Richmond Hill, Washington and Furys Ferry roads during a five-hour period. Here’s what they found:

Speeding Citations: 9

DUI arrests: 13

Seatbelt violations: 4

Suspended licenses: 19

No insurance: 2

Child safety seat violations: 55

Warnings issued: 35

Other citations: 24

Felony warrants served: 3

Misdemeanor warrants served: 1

Felony drug arrests: 0

Misdemeanor drug arrets: 3

Total arrests: 20

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happychimer 07/05/14 - 08:23 pm
Good job!

Good job!

redfish 07/05/14 - 09:37 pm

20 years ago, 30% of Georgia drivers had no insurance. Since the state adopted the computer controlled system, the number of uninsured drivers has dropped dramatically. The computer insurance verification system is a rare example of a govt policy that does what it is intended to do.

specsta 07/05/14 - 10:05 pm
Safety...Or A Show of Power?

The RCSO is morphing itself into militarized police entity, where brute shows of force is the protocol in place to scare the populace into compliance.

From the behemoth "Mobile Command Center" parked in front of The Common during holiday festivities, to the war-ready Humvees and the Mine Resistant Vehicle proudly displayed this past week, the RCSO is becoming the poster child for a police state in America.

"Road checks" or the "show me your papers" checkpoints, when initiated last year, were the warning sign that ominous things were about to come. When a citizen's ability to move about freely is restricted, either through the fear of intimidation or through an actual physical detainment at a police checkpoint, then we all lose a bit more of the freedom guaranteed to us under the US Constitution.

I'm still not sure why the RCSO doesn't understand the Supreme Court ruling that specified that police checkpoints HAD to be publicized in the media prior to engagement so that citizens could exercise their right to avoid them.

I guess the idea of "community policing", citizen input and establishing trust and respect in the community has been thrown out the window. Cops continue to disrespect citizens, ignore traffic laws, step on the First Amendment right that allows police to be filmed and recorded while performing their duties - without interference, and they continue to embrace the "us against them" brainwashed ideology.

If walls continue to be built between the citizens and the police, no progress will ever be seen. And progress is not becoming the fanciest police force with the sleekest cars with impenetrable window tint, with the toughest-looking military vehicles and the most technologically-advanced toys. That's just fluff.

gargoyle 07/05/14 - 11:14 pm
Light traffic compared to

Light traffic compared to past years, guess the word got out early about Operation Christmas Bonus. We were back at the house by Six PM just to avoid the check points that while unannounced we knew would be going on. Papers Please , we lose more freedoms every day

janderson1945 07/06/14 - 04:27 am
Great Job

Bringing down DUI arrests from over 40 per weekend night to only 13 this year on a weekend when over 10,000 people were downtown is astounding. No accidents with injuries and no fatalities over the entire 4th of July, truly amazing!

You will always have those who complain, especially those like spectsa or navy gary who use every opportunity possible to berate the RCSO. As far as I along with my family are concerned, GREAT JOB RCSO, Keep up the excellent work and thank you for all you do on a daily basis, it is appreciated by most. BTW, we went through a road check on Friday night on Stevens Creek Road and the Deputy couldn't have been nicer and took less than 30 seconds of our time, think they are a great idea and glad to see them back over the weekend.

debbiep38 07/06/14 - 12:03 pm
Specsta, "us against them" or "them against us"?

That is some brainwashed ideology. Try de-caf.

oldredneckman96 07/06/14 - 12:04 pm
Here we go...

Yes, just as we are beginning to get some control over drunks on our roads, just as we are starting to remove tobacco from public, pot heads want to bring their drug into the public. They are using every lie they can, don’t listen to them, just watch what has been done in other States and learn.

dreTT 07/07/14 - 10:56 am
mixed feelings

I don't like to interface with the police unless I need them so I would not like to go through check points. But the one time i did go through one I have to say it was painless. I showed the officer my ID and he sent me on my way. I still don't like check points because it just feels "unamerican" lol, but it does seem to spook people enough to do the right thing, and if they don't it gets them off the road So I guess i'll just live with it. lol

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