Deputies begin DUI crackdown across the area

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News 12 at 11 O'clock / Thursday, August 28, 2014

MGN Online

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A handshake by two state law enforcement agencies, is the start of a busy weekend.

They said it will be crackdown like no other on both sides of the Savannah.

"We'll be one side of the area and they'll be on the other side of the area," said Lt. Lewis Blanchard with the Richmond County Sheriffs Office.

If you drink and drive, chances are you'll see Blanchard over the weekend along with dozens of his law enforcement partners.

"Increased enforcement out on all the different streets and we'll even have the helicopter in the air from the Georgia State Patrol," he said.

To keep their eyes on the ultimate prize-- no fatalities.

Last year, it was Operation Thunder, a campaign that took hundreds of drunk drivers off the streets, saving lives in the process.

"You know we track the numbers in Georgia, we're 123 fatalities down," said Powell Harrelson with the Georgia Office of Highway Safety.

But this morning, that number rose by one.

"He brings that number to life, he is that number," he said.

One life, Harrelson will never forget.

"A very good friend of mine got killed in Savannah on his motorcycle," he said.

As he circles the state of Georgia saving lives, he realizes how important a life is.

"When you go home and you're with your wife and kids, and you realize, that it could've been one of them, it could've been you," he said.

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