"Hands Across the Border" campaign kicks off


(WTVM) - As we approach the Labor Day holiday, law enforcement from across the southeast are cracking down on impaired drivers with the 24th annual "Hands Across the Border" campaign. 

More than 100 law enforcement agents from Alabama and Georgia came together Monday night at Columbus Regional hospital to kick off the national campaign started by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

Cathy Fluellen lost her 8-year-old daughter Felicia, a number of years ago to a drunk driver. She said it's difficult to try and get over the loss of one of her twins.

She was in attendance Monday night in support of the Mothers against Drunk Driving also known as MADD.

"No one should lose someone that they love, surely not a child," Fluellen said.

Roger Hayes with the Governors Office of Highway Safety said its all about saving lives and keeping residents safe. 
"We're all playing on the same field now, so we all partner together to show the motoring public we're all united as one in trying to save lives on the highway," Hayes said.

He adds in Georgia alone, the rate of fatalities has risen 12 percent or by 92 more people than last year, bringing the number close to 840.

With a handshake marking the deal, law enforcement from five states including Alabama, Tennessee, North and South Carolinas, as well as Florida partnered up to conduct these road checks.

In the past they've not only caught drunk drivers, they've also caught drugs and fugitives just to name a few. 
"Everyone needs to be cautious what they do in a split second, it doesn't only hurt your life but also another families life, that can be destroyed at the blink of an eye. Just don't do it."
Residents can expect to see increased patrols through the holiday.

A local mothers against drunk driving group is also scheduled to be formed in Columbus in January of 2017.

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