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Richmond County Sheriff's Office to continue DUI enforcement without Operation Thunder

Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013 8:46 PM
Last updated Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 10:39 AM
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Operation Thunder has ended, but motorists should still expect the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office to make its presence known on New Year’s Eve.



Dec. 13 and 14 marked the final follow-up weekend of the 90-day initiative, which was created by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety with the purpose of cracking down on traffic violations to decrease fatalities.

The sheriff’s office, which received state funding for the program and four follow-up weekends, will no longer use outside agencies to help with DUI enforcement, Lt. Lewis Blanchard said.

“We’ll have some more of our own guys out on patrol,” he said. “(Operation Thunder) won’t be back for a few more years. Generally, a county will have to wait two or three years before bringing the initiative back unless there is a serious issue.”

Richmond County was coming off one of its worst years for traffic fatalities in 2012 with 42 total. By Operation Thunder’s end in December, deputies had responded to 23 road fatalities. None happened on a night Operation Thunder was in effect, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

In Operation Thunder’s final follow-up, the department strayed from the traditional DUI checkpoints in favor of “roving patrols,” said Lt. Ramone Lamkin, of the traffic division. These placed more officers on the streets paying close attention to drivers who appeared to be impaired.

The approach wasn’t as successful, Lamkin said, and he expects the department to bring back DUI checkpoints for New Year’s Eve.

“When you’re able to interact with every single driver, like at a checkpoint, you are more likely to catch the person who is driving impaired,” he said.

During last year’s patrol period for New Year’s celebrations, Dec. 28-Jan. 1, there were 694 crashes reported locally, resulting in 353 injuries and four deaths, according to Sgt. 1st Class Ritchie Howard of the Georgia State Patrol. In that time, 352 people were arrested for drunken driving by state troopers.

Law enforcement investigated 3,691 crashes statewide during that period, Howard said, resulting in 1,476 injuries and seven deaths.

SERVICES AVAILABLE

• Through Jan. 1, intoxicated drivers can call AAA to have a tow truck drive them and their vehicle to a safe location within 10 miles. Call (855) 286-9246 (2-TOW-2-GO).

• Bradford Health Services and Yellow Cab of Augusta are teaming up to offer free taxi rides to holiday drinkers. Through Dec. 31, staff and customers at bars, lounges and restaurants who are at least 21 can call (800) 333-1865 to schedule a pickup.

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David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/31/13 - 12:22 pm
1
0
I'd agree with GAD, no point

I'd agree with GAD, no point in providing evidence. If they are stopping or actively delaying you, then they are not there to befriend or help you and you will not end up benefitting from it. The end result will either be bad or nothing. They are intent on gathering and documenting anything that will result in a successful conviction (stats).

It's the laws themselves, not the enforcement officer that I've issue with. But consequently, I wouldn't offer any compliance that is not required or forced upon me.

GiantsAllDay
9863
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/31/13 - 12:36 pm
1
0
Your right, DP. If someone

Your right, DP. If someone said, "I'd like to shoot you, but I don't have any ammunition-would you please give me some?" I mean, who would agree to something like that? Remember, at the end of the day, it's YOUR life and YOUR future. The police officer's life and future are going to be just fine.

Riverman1
86998
Points
Riverman1 12/31/13 - 03:46 pm
1
0
Is That Accurate?

"Georgia law requires you to take a breath, blood, or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. Georgia’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC). The test must be taken as soon as possible from the time when you were last driving. The officer gets to choose which test you take."

Is that accurate? You can be told you have to take a breath test?

GiantsAllDay
9863
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/31/13 - 09:53 pm
1
0
Yep, Riverman you have to

Yep, Riverman you have to take the official breath test AFTER you've been arrested. That's the deal you make with the state of Georgia when they issue you a drivers license in order to use the public roads that they OWN but you PAID for. One year DL suspension for merely refusing. BUT you can request a DMV hearing on that within 10 business days. It's on the fine print on the form that the cops hand you but they won't volunteer that information. And also, don't believe any cop who says it is illegal to avoid a roadblock. You can avoid a roadblock as long as you don't break any laws when you do it. But these cunning little runts set up roadblocks at places where it would be illegal to make a u turn. So they gotcha if you make a you turn. I would hate to have a job where I would have to lie over and over again in order to be sucessful and get a good performance rating from my management. If you have any friends who are cops ask him or her how many times a month he or she lies to the public. You won't get a straight answer because they are trained to be dishonest. You or I lie to a cop and it's a crime. They lie to us and they get nominated for cop of the year. Anyway, don't believe them when they it's illegal to avoid a roadblock. They only set them up for you to lose if you do:
http://youtu.be/2C9bQYGTJWY

csraguy
2333
Points
csraguy 01/04/14 - 04:51 pm
0
0
GAD

It is not illegal to avoid a road check and I have not ever heard a police officer nor seen any post that say it is. However, it is probable cause to be pulled over and you therefore have less rights than you actually would at a road check. Avoiding a road check for ANY reason does in fact give the police ARS to pull you over for questioning.

corgimom
34175
Points
corgimom 01/04/14 - 11:47 pm
0
0
GiantsAllDay, have you talked

GiantsAllDay, have you talked to Rocky Eades lately about what to say to an officer?

Ask him how that worked for him.

corgimom
34175
Points
corgimom 01/04/14 - 11:54 pm
0
0
If you all want to get bent

If you all want to get bent out of shape about a roadblock, good for you.

They don't bother me and never have, but I'd be really bothered getting hit by a drunk driver.

I know what I value more, and that's my safety.

In my experience, being an [filtered word] to a police officer is never a good idea, because they remember all of them, and you never know when you would like a police officer to give you a break.

But that's just my philosophy, however, it has served me well.

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