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Clayton police boost patrols, road checks today

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Police Department will join law-enforcement agencies across Georgia in Operation Zero Tolerance today, in advance of the Fourth of July holiday.

The campaign involves increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints through July 5, according to Clayton County Police Lt. Brian Danekes, commander of the department's Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (H.E.A.T.) Unit.

"We're going to focus on DUI's and habits that lead to aggressive driving, such as speeding, excessive lane changes, and following too closely," said Danekes.

"The chances of getting stopped are going to be greater during this two-week blitz, because there will be a lot of enforcement throughout the state," he said.

Operation Zero Tolerance (OZT) is the result of a partnership between the Governor's Office of Highway Safety and Mother's Against Drunk Driving.

"Operation Zero Tolerance is a statewide enforcement campaign to raise driver awareness about the deadly consequences of drunk driving," said Jim Shuler, director of public affairs for the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, in a statement.

One out of five fatality crashes in Georgia each year is alcohol-related, according to Shuler.

The OZT campaign operates in conjunction with 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T., a statewide speed and DUI crackdown during the summer, according to Danekes.

"That's through the whole summer," said Danekes. "We've been doing that a few years now, focusing on the same infractions - a lot of road checks, saturated patrols for DUI, a lot of interstate work - knowing that a lot of people are out and about," he said.

"The main thing is if they [motorists] plan on drinking, please have a designated driver, or don't drive at all. Also make sure to wear seatbelts and travel the speed limit," he said.