Law enforcement looking out for drunken drivers during holiday season

News12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Dec. 24, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Lt. Eric Abdullah has been with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office for 10 years. He's no stranger to violence or crime, but right now his biggest concern is drinking and driving during the holidays.

"Within Aiken County there is 39 miles of interstate. So we get a good portion of traffic of those who are traveling east and west," Abdullah said.

Lee Opel runs the Big Tree package store on Washington Road. Christmas Eve is one of her busiest times of the year. State law requires her to shut down on Christmas Day, so on Monday night, she got a lot of last-minute buyers.

Abdullah says while drinking is not against the law, driving while being impaired is. And his officers are on the look out for drunken drivers and their habits.

"Weaving in the lane of travel, driving on the opposite side of the road onto on coming traffic. Someone who is giving on those indicators of being a distracted driver," Abdullah said.

The legal limit for drivers in both Georgia and South Carolina is .08. However, Abdullah says the limit could be even lower for some people.

"A person can drink two beers and be at a .08. That's a little bit over, but that's a possibility. To where the next person can consume four beers and be at a .08," Abdullah said.

Abdullah wouldn't say if any checkpoints were planned but did advise partiers to make plans before drinking.

"The best thing to do is have a designated driver. Or be at a location where you can stay the night," he said.


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