Georgia state troopers will soon have more funding to help keep impaired drivers off state highways, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety was awarded a $2.37 million grant as part of the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic program, also known as HEAT. The grant is intended to fund the Nighthawks DUI Task Force, but will also fund training programs and legal support for the Administrative License Suspension program.
The HEAT campaign works to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and deaths by focusing on the encouragement of sober driving as well as seat belt use.
“Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for law enforcement officers to encounter an impaired driver,” Georgia’s public safety commissioner Col. Mark McDonough stated in the release. “Our agency is committed to promoting safe driving practices by removing these drivers from our roads.”
The Nighthawks program is one where patrols focus on peak hours of impaired drivers. It began in Atlanta in 2004 and has since expanded to Columbus, Macon, Savannah, Athens, and Statesboro.
The grant will providing funding through September 2016.
In certain circumstances, the state can administratively suspend someone’s driver’s license and the grant also will pay for attorneys if a citizen contests the suspension.
The Department of Public Safety also works with Click It of Ticket and Operation Zero Tolerance DUI campaigns.