Zero tolerance policy to be fully enforced on Fourth

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Bainbridge and Decatur County law enforcement have made it clear: officers and deputies will be out in full force this Fourth of July weekend to keep roads and highways safe from drunk drivers.

July 4 is one of the deadliest holidays in the U.S. There were 237 deaths reported across the country in drunk-driving crashes during the July 4 holiday in 2017. Local law enforcement enforces a zero tolerance policy year-round, but will be extra vigilant this weekend in Decatur County.

“We basically want everybody to have a safe holiday weekend while they’re off during July 4,” said Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin. “However, law enforcement will not be off, and we will be working extra hard to keep our highways safe by watching out for drunk drivers.”

Bainbridge Public Safety Director Jerry Carter also said his officers will be out in full force dur-ing the long weekend. Carter simply suggested if you are going to drink, make sure you have a designated driver ahead of time. Otherwise, you will be caught.

“It can happen anytime, but it seems to be more relevant this holiday,” said Carter. “Anything can happen. If you’re going to drink, do it in moderation. Period.”

Both Griffin and Carter also encouraged residents to be safe while shooting fireworks.

“Just remember, fireworks can be fun, but they can also be very dangerous,” said Griffin. “Be careful and make sure kids have adult supervision.”

Firing a firearm within Bainbridge city limits is illegal, Carter reminded. Though firearm laws are different in the county, Griffin said it was illegal to fire a weapon straight into the air.

“Guns are not fireworks,” said Griffin. “When you shoot a gun into the air, that bullet has to come down somewhere. You do not want to have that bullet kill someone.”