New Year’s Eve DUI arrests down 70 percent
by Michelle Babcock
January 04, 2014 11:30 PM | 2992 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office saw a 70 percent decrease this year in the number of DUI arrests made during the New Year’s Eve holiday.

Spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jay Baker said this year from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1 the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office made three DUI arrests. Last year, the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office made 11 DUI arrests during the same time span.

“We are very pleased there were fewer DUIs this year than in previous years. Fewer DUIs is always a positive trend,” Baker said Friday.

The Sheriff’s Office conducted safety checkpoints during the New Year’s Eve holiday, but no DUI arrests were made at the checkpoints, Baker said.

“The three DUIs were made on traffic stops and not during the safety checkpoints conducted by the agency,” Baker said. “Although arrests were made for various charges at the checkpoints, it was a pleasant surprise that no impaired drivers were detected during the operation.”

Baker said all three DUI arrest made over the holiday were alcohol related.

The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office recorded 19 wrecks with no injuries between Dec. 28 and Jan. 1, Baker said.

The only traffic accident with injuries was the fatal wreck killing 25-year-old newlywed Kali Shay Dobson Quinton of Ball Ground, which happened outside the statewide travel period Sunday.

“We were pleased injury accidents over the holidays were down, however, that statistic is bittersweet considering there was one tragic fatal accident in Ball Ground,” Baker said.

The statewide travel period for 2013 New Year’s holiday started at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and ended New Year’s Day at midnight.

The 2012 New Year’s holiday travel period lasted 102 hours, compared to a 30-hour travel period this New Year’s holiday.

In Cherokee County, the Georgia State Patrol recorded one crash resulting in two injuries, no fatalities and one DUI arrest during the 30-hour travel period, Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said.

The Woodstock Police Department’s “Safe Ride Home” program was a success this year, Woodstock Police Department spokeswoman Brittany Duncan said.

The program offers residents a free ride home on New Year’s Eve if they are at a local establishment and become intoxicated and unable to drive.

“We had 57 people take advantage of our Safe Ride Home program, which is an outstanding number,” Duncan said.

Last year during the holiday, Woodstock Police provided 19 rides to residents. In the six years the program has provided for residents, the department has given more than 375 free rides home from local bars.

Woodstock Police made one DUI arrest on drug charges as a result of a traffic stop, Duncan said, and one arrest was made in connection to driving while unlicensed and underage possession of alcohol.

Preliminary figures show the Georgia State Patrol reported 210 crashes statewide, resulting in 83 injuries and one fatality, Wright said. State Troopers made 170 DUI arrests during the holiday travel period.

Among all law enforcement agencies, five fatalities were reported during the holiday travel period.

Cartersville State Troopers reported one fatality, Marietta Police reported one fatality, Cobb County Police reported two fatalities and Waycross Police reported one fatality, according to data from the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

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