Originally created 01/02/01

County sees few DUI cases on holiday



Richmond County sheriff's deputies cited fewer numbers of drunken drivers on New Year's Eve than they do on normal weekends, officials said.

According to Richmond County jail records, seven people were arrested during the holiday weekend for driving under the influence of alcohol.

"We average about three a day," said Randy Teasley, a shift supervisor for Richmond County sheriff's dispatch. "We had less this weekend because of road checks and New Year's Eve fell on a Sunday."

Police set up three area checkpoints, on River Watch Parkway, Tobacco Road and John C. Calhoun Expressway. But arrests occurred in other areas, such as Milledgeville Road, Gordon Highway and Berckmans Road.

Authorities in Aiken and Columbia County also reported low numbers of DUIs in their areas. Records at the Aiken County Detention Center showed five people were arrested for driving under the influence. In Columbia County, three people were charged with DUI. The low numbers might be attributed to colder weather and more information on drunken driving, said Columbia County sheriff's Deputy Ted Powers.

"It depends on the number of parties and the time of year," Deputy Powers said. "We have more DUIs during the summer, usually on the weekends.

"It's colder this time of year, and more people are staying inside, and that's good. People are also becoming more aware about drunk driving because they hear stories of innocent people being killed by drunk drivers."

Staff Writer Chasiti Kirkland contributed to this article.

Reach Albert Ross at (706) 823-3339.