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DPS Receives H.E.A.T. Grant to Continue DUI Task Force and ALS Program

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has awarded the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) a Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (H.E.A.T.) grant to continue its Nighthawks DUI Task Force and Administrative License Suspension (ALS) program. The approximately $3.4 million grant is effective October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022.

“This H.E.A.T. grant is a great benefit to both GOHS and DPS towards achieving our common goal of deterring impaired driving and reducing the number of DUI-related fatalities on Georgia’s roads,” said Colonel Chris C. Wright, DPS Commissioner.

The primary goals of the H.E.A.T program are to combat crashes, injuries, and fatalities caused by impaired driving and speeding; to increase seatbelt use, and to educate the motoring public on traffic safety and the dangers of driving under the influence.

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The Nighthawks DUI task force is divided into three separate units. The units are all comprised of Georgia State Patrol troopers who have undergone specialized training in impaired driving enforcement.  Nighthawks North primarily focuses its enforcement on Clayton, Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, and Gwinnett counties. Nighthawks Middle focuses on Bibb, Muscogee, and surrounding counties. Nighthawks South focuses on Bulloch and Chatham counties.

The ALS program and the GSP Nighthawks DUI Task Force were created in 2004. Through the ALS program, state troopers receive training, legal assistance, and in some cases, legal representation as they testify at ALS hearings for people charged with driving under the influence.  In Georgia, under certain circumstances, the state can administratively suspend the driver’s license and the ALS hearing is held when the motorist contests the suspension.  Ms. Dee Brophy, a former prosecutor, is the ALS attorney who represents troopers at the ALS hearings.

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