Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hands Across the Border Saturation
Natalie Potts

MGN Online
MADISON COUNTY, Tenn.- officers across West Tennessee are working together to combat drinking and reckless driving during the holiday weekend for the Governor's Highway Safety Office's "Hands Across the Border."

Along with THP, nearly 50 law enforcement officers from nine different agencies are setting up road blocks and increasing their patrols through early Tuesday morning.

"A lot of people travel because of the holiday weekend and it's a long holiday weekend so the potential is there for a lot of carnage," said Sgt. Joe Gill, Madison County Sheriff's Dept.

There will be more officers patrolling the roadway, saturating trouble spot areas known to have high alcohol related accidents. Deputies said they are keeping their eyes peeled for drunk drivers and traffic violations.

"They may be just driving slower that what the speed limit is sometimes that's an impairment problem or sometimes that's a health problem," said Deputy Randy Blankenship.

According to Madison County Sheriff's Office latest statistics, deputies said one out of every six drivers are on the road under the influence.

"It's always in the back of your mind, are you meeting somebody that really doesn't have any business being behind the wheel,"asked Blankenship. " This day and time it's not always alcohol were seeing a lot of people out here now that are abusing their prescription medication."

Sgt. Gill said ,in 2012, 1,039 people died on Tennessee roadways. Half of those killed were not wearing their seat belt.

"We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't care you know we deal with lot of accidents and traffic crashes," said Sgt. Gill. We aren't saying you can't have fun, just be smart about it and make good choices like don't drink and drive and get a designated driver."

Madison County Sheriff's Deputies wrote more than 60 citations between Friday and early Saturday morning. Those citations were for for seat belt, child restraint and DUI offenses.

Jackson Police said they too plan on setting up weekend roadblocks within the city limits. Troopers said the "Hands Across the Border" campaign continues through June with additional kickoffs planned at the state lines of Mississippi, Georgia and North Carolina.