County New Year’s Eve DUI arrests decrease
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
January 03, 2013 12:00 AM | 4577 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office made one fewer DUI arrest during the New Year’s holiday this year than last year, according to the department.

“We were delighted to encounter fewer impaired drivers at our safety checkpoints than in years past,” said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Beginning on Dec. 28 and ending Jan. 1, deputies made 11 DUI arrests. During the same period last year, 12 people were arrested for DUI.

Baker said the agency also performed safety checkpoints on Dec. 29 and 30. Another was scheduled for Dec. 28, but was cancelled due to inclement weather.

During those two days, 10 arrests were made at the checkpoints with a total of 12 citations issued.

“One person was arrested for driving under the influence, and the others were arrested for marijuana possession, suspended license and/or underage consumption of alcohol,” Baker said.

Baker said the sheriff’s office is pleased there were no serious injury accidents in the county over the holidays. He added there appeared to be less traffic on the roadways during the holiday season.

“That is likely due to the inclement weather,” Baker said.

Woodstock Police Department reported two DUI arrests that occurred New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The DUIs were both issued near downtown Woodstock.

The department also responded to a report of a mailbox blown up by fireworks.

According to the police report, at 4:14 a.m. on Jan. 1, police responded to a home at 105 Robinhood Drive where homeowner Ricky Wilcox said someone placed the explosives inside his mailbox.

However, when police arrived, Wilcox was arrested for having an active warrant from Cobb County for stolen property, according to the report.

Wilcox was transported to Cherokee County Adult Detention Center. Duncan said the case is still open.

Additionally, Woodstock Chief Calvin Moss said the department’s Operation Safe Ride provided 19 residents a free ride home on New Year’s Eve.

In the five years the service has been provided, Woodstock police has now provided approximately 319 rides home from local bars, spokesman Brittany Duncan said.

“It is our mission to ensure the streets of Woodstock are safe for citizens,” Moss said. “Given the celebratory nature of New Year’s Eve, we took a proactive approach to deter possibly impaired patrons of local bars to driving drunk on this holiday.”

Canton Police Department also reported two DUI arrests, as well as one charge of underage possession of alcohol, two warrant arrests, one driving with a suspended license charge, 17 citations and 25 warnings — all on New Year’s Eve.

Spokesman Lt. Jeff Tucker said most arrests were made before midnight.

“It was pretty laid-back here,” Tucker said.

In Georgia, six people were killed over the New Year’s holiday travel period beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and ending midnight Tuesday.

Fatal traffic crashes were reported by Georgia State Patrol posts in Athens, Madison and Valdosta, with Cobb County Police, Warner Robins Police and Macon Police additionally reporting traffic-related deaths.

GSP investigated 585 traffic crashes resulting in 266 injuries and three fatalities. Early reports show state troopers arrested 321 people for driving under the influence.

That’s down from last year, when state troopers investigated 296 crashes resulting in 172 injuries. However, troopers investigated more deaths last year — seven of the 13 fatal crashes reported during the 2012 New Year period.
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