The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 22, 2008

Police set roadblocks for holiday

Athens Police Capt. Tracy Harrison reminds motorists to be aware of law enforcement checkpoints over this Memorial Day weekend.

“We’ll begin with the major checkpoints today at 5 p.m. and run them through about 3 a.m. Saturday,” said Harrison. “Then we’ll begin about 5 p.m. Saturday night and run to 3 a.m. Sunday morning. These are the major roadblocks. There will be periodic checkpoints continuing through Monday.”

Harrison said the police department is not going to publicize where the checkpoints will be.

“They’ll be at four or five locations around town,” he said. “The main thing we’re looking for is DUI. We have zero-tolerance for drunk driving and they will go to jail. We are also looking for driver licenses and proof of insurance.

“Most everybody we stop is a law-abiding citizen. If you come upon a roadblock, start getting your driver license and proof of insurance out and it will speed up the process,” said Harrison. “There will be a little bit of a delay, but if motorists will cooperate it will expedite the process.”

Harrison said there would be about 25 officers out doing checks, which would include regular patrol officers and reserve officers.

“We’ll still be having regular patrols,” he said.

Harrison said on major holidays, local police will charge up to 20 people who have been stopped at the checkpoints with driving under the influence. But it’s not just drunk driving that will be targeted.

“There’s also Click It or Ticket, so people better have their seatbelts on, but our main focus is DUI,” he said. “Saturday nights there are more DUIs than at any other time, so that’s why we are focusing on that.”

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