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GSP: Don’t let friends drive drunk

Atlanta—The Georgia State Patrol is reminding motorists to designate a sober driver and not let friends drive drunk in preparation for the 102-hour New Year’s holiday travel period.

Col. Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said the New Year’s holiday travel period begins New Year’s Eve at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009.

During the last New Year’s holiday travel period, which was also 102 hours long, there were 3,108 traffic crashes, 1,250 injuries and 22 traffic deaths recorded.

Col. Hitchens said speed, the lack of seat belt use and people driving while impaired continue to be the primary contributing factors to fatal holiday period traffic crashes, and the majority of the fatal crashes occur on the secondary roads. He said Georgia State Troopers will be patrolling state highways in addition to the interstate system and county roads.

“Last year, 12 of the 22 traffic deaths occurred on county roads while four each occurred on state routes and city streets,” Col. Hitchens noted. “Only two deaths were recorded on an interstate highway in Georgia.”

The commissioner said in addition to concentrated patrols during the holiday period, troopers will also be conducting sobriety checkpoints.

“While only two of the traffic deaths last year were alcohol related, New Year’s is traditionally associated with festivities that often involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages,” he said in a news release. “And tragically that leads to an increase in the number of impaired drivers on our roads.”

Col. Hitchens again calls on motorists to take extra measures to help reduce the number of traffic deaths on the state’s roads. “Remember to plan ahead for your holiday parties and plan non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers,” Col. Hitchens said. “Everyone can benefit by remembering to not let friends drive drunk.” He reminded party hosts to arrange alternate transportation for impaired guests by calling a taxi, friend or family member to get your guest home safely.

Arrests & Citations

The following arrests and citations, occurring between , have been reported by Bainbridge Public Safety and the Decatur County Jail:

• Sherdrick Maurice Adams, 40, 208 College St., Bainbridge, shoplifting, BPS;

• Donnie Edward Belin, 51, 202 Wheat St., Bainbridge, contempt of court—original charge child support, SO;

• Stephen Glenn Blair, 48, 454 Day Road, Brinson, contempt of court—original charge child support (two counts), SO;

• Ulysses Carter, 17, 603 E. Griffin St., Bainbridge, fighting in public place, BPS;

• Joe Leonard Cooper Jr., 26, 1129 Julis Circle, Bainbridge, simple battery family violence, SO;

• Kenneth Lamar Donald, 48, Cairo, Ga., child molestation, aggravated child molestation, SO;

• James Luther Green Jr., 68, 738 Cidar Grove Road, Bainbridge, DUI, failure to maintain lane, GSP;

• Jessica Carlo Jackson, 23, Iron City, Ga., no insurance, child restraint law, BPS;

• Anthony Joe Richardson, 47, 912 N. Sims St., Bainbridge, disorderly conduct, BPS;

• Jerome Lorenzo Scott, 18, 851 Greenshade Road, Bainbridge, false report of a crime, carrying concealed weapon, burlary—bond surrender, SO;

• Robert Mitchell Strickland, 29, 1003 Gate Circle, Bainbridge, failure to maintain lane, DUI, SO;

• Billy James Tillman, 48, 423 North Lamar, Bainbridge, disorderly conduct, BPS;

• Donald Evans Wells, 59, 112 Ronnie Lambert Road, Bainbridge, habitual violator, SO;

• Victor Gerard Ausgood, 50, 930 Helen St., Bainbridge, contempt of court—original charge child support, SO;

• Leigh Alison Caldwell, 37, Chattahoochee, Fla., DUI, open container, failure to yield when turning left, BPS;

• Laricky Felt Daniels, 20, Albany, Ga., probation violation—original charge driving while license suspended, SO;

• Sherry Ann Johnson, 38, Colquitt, Ga., criminal trespass, BPS;

• Willie Demtrius Lamb, 28, Havana, Fla., driving while license suspended or revoked, SO;

• Robert Killins, 47, 2280 Lake Douglas Road, Bainbridge, shoplifting, BPS;

• Brian Morice Bowen, 20, 505 Monroe St., Bainbridge, disorderly conduct, BPS;

• Zackary Ingle, 18, 688 River Oaks Drive, Bainbridge, disorderly conduct, BPS;