Valdosta State Patrol Awarded for Fight Against DUI
Every year, Mothers Against Drunk Driving recognizes different state patrol posts for their excellent work combatting drunk driving. This year’s Post of the Year was awarded to Georgia State Patrol Post 31 in Valdosta. While other posts have fought valiantly to protect sober drivers against drunk ones, Post 31 faced some steep challenges — and overcame them.
Post 31 is in charge of patrolling four counties, including Lowndes County, home to the city of Valdosta and, perhaps more importantly, Valdosta State University. So in addition to adults driving drunk, the local Georgia State Patrol also has to be on the lookout for drunk college students. But the challenges don’t stop there.
Fighting a Constant Battle
In the past year, Post 31 has lost three state troopers, either to injury or transfer. Yet, according to the nomination letter, “Even with limited manpower they still made 353 arrests for DUI and are currently on track to show a 7 percent increase in DUI arrests for 2016.” With these numbers, it was easy for MADD to conclude that removing drunk drivers from the road was Post 31’s top priority.
Out of the 13 troopers who belong to Post 31, two of them are certified Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), meaning they are trained to identify drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. The remaining are Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) certified, meaning they are “trained to recognize psychophysical and clinical indicators of impairment that are consistent with a subject who is under the influence of drugs alone, or in combination with alcohol, and to take appropriate action.”
Taking Preventative Steps
This state patrol post also uses advanced preemptive techniques to prevent drunk drivers from hurting others on the road. Every time they make a DUI arrest, they mark it on a map. From there, they can see in what areas drunk drivers are more likely to be, and they set up road checks there. Since they have a very limited police force, they must be smart in how they go about trying to catch impaired drivers.
So far, it’s worked. In the past year along, they conducted 111 road checks. More than 320 arrests were made, and nearly 60 of them were for DUI. In addition, their patrol resulted in close to 2,000 arrests, 112 of those being for impaired driving. Just about every trooper made at least 20 DUI arrests last year, and the fruits of their labor have been noted. Out of about 550 crashes that resulted in injuries or fatalities, only about 60 were alcohol-related.
All over Georgia, both state patrol troopers and local police forces are cracking down on drunk driving. If you have been arrested for DUI in Atlanta, you could face serious consequences. Contact an experienced attorney at Hawkins Spizman Kilgo; we may be able to help reduce your charges. Your initial consultation is free. Call today.