Police preparing for New Year's Eve

By Ed Brock

Wherever Sharleen James of Jonesboro decides to go on New Year's Eve, she's going to be careful driving there.

"You have some people who might want to get wild," said 29-year-old James.

And it's always good to have more police out on the streets on that night, she added.

The officers in the Clayton County Police Department's traffic and DUI enforcement units are resting up and getting ready for an all-night operation Friday night, Capt. Tom Israel said.

"We're going to have road checks and saturated patrols," Israel said.

Last year they arrested 15 people on charges of driving under the influence and issued around 100 citations for speeding and other violations.

Police and the Georgia State Patrol are participating in several different operations, including "December HEAT" and "Operation Zero Tolerance."

Israel said previously that they are doing a minimum of one road check a day.

There has been an emphasis on state routes and arterial roads like Mt. Zion Road for road checks during this year's program.

About 1,500 accidents are expected for the 54-hour long New Year's weekend with 394 injuries and 9 deaths.

The GSP is also participating in Operation Zero Tolerance.

"Troopers will not hesitate to arrest impaired drivers," said GSP Commander Col. George Ellis. "This is the only warning troopers will be giving for DUI."

As usual, Israel said, police are urging holiday party party-goers to use a designated driver if they plan to drink, to "buckle up, slow down and drive carefully."