Operation Thunder rolling out on its final weekend crackdown

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, May 31, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a plea from Jean Lambert who drives these streets in Augusta.

"We need this because there are so many people out there that don't value what's right," Lambert said.

All to keep drunken drivers off the roads to protect her life and many others.

"They should not be on the road. Innocent people get hurt, even get killed, and these are people that need to understand that there is a law out there that is set," she said.

It's a law that over the past four months has taken more than 215 drunken drivers out of the equation.

Last year, Richmond County averaged four fatalities a month.

This year, they averaged just over one fatality a month, a 62 percent drop.

Lt. Lewis Blanchard says it's thanks to Operation Rolling Thunder.

"All 22 nights where those road checks have taken place, there has not been a single fatality on our roadways," Blanchard said.

He's newly reinforced traffic division is now rolling 40 deep.

"Before, we only had a few people dedicated to traffic, now we have a large division dedicated to traffic, so it's going to kind of take over where Operation Thunder lets off," he said.

And don't think it's just DUIs they're looking for.

Law enforcement found a total of 305 child seat violations.

"We pulled over a car, she had four children in her car and not a single one of them were wearing a seat belt or a car seat," Blanchard said.

Lambert says it's a difference between life and death.

"That means innocent people will be hurt or accidents are going to be happened where people's lives can be taken," she said.

Something more than 200 people got to learn through a checkpoint instead of a wreck.

"It sends a message to people, I just hope everybody is listening," Lambert said.

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