SAVANNAH, GA. (June 14, 2014): Intoxicated drivers who are engaged by Metro and visiting law enforcement officers may find themselves without a defensive tactic others have been trying to use beginning tonight when police, prosecutors and a judge team up for “No Refusal” DUI testing.

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police, the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office and Chatham County Recorder’s Court Judge Claire Williams will be working with officers from across Georgia participating in Operation Thunder.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is working with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police in coordinating the event to provide additional support
to target aggressive drivers and those drinking and driving in the Savannah-Chatham County area. The operation is providing intensive traffic enforcement in all areas where serious and fatal crashes have occurred.

Beginning tonight, officers in the operation will have the support of the district attorney’s office and recorder’s court to secure warrants to draw blood from drivers who refuse state administered testing to confirm blood alcohol levels. The initial testing – usually via Breathalyzer – can be refused by drivers who may believe that their level of intoxication can be hidden. But warrants can be secured quickly to obtain blood tests in those cases. Drivers with blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher will be charged with driving under the influence.

“Intoxicated drivers have wreaked untold havoc upon countless innocent victims and endangered our entire community,” she said. “It’s encouraging to see the courts, prosecutors, law enforcement officers from across the state and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety all working together to protect our citizens.”