Memorial Day weekend was relatively quiet for law enforcement officials in Forsyth County and on Lake Lanier who made fewer driving and boating under the influence arrests this year than last.
Between Friday, May 26 and Monday, May 29, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputies made 13 DUI arrests and responded to 61 motor vehicle accidents, a 35 percent — or 7 arrest — decrease from the same time span in 2016.
While the sheriff’s office did not have a clear reason for the decrease in DUIs, Monday’s rain may have played a part in getting residents off the roads and out of the lake.
“Due to inclement weather, several people did leave the lake parks and Lake [Lanier] earlier than initially anticipated,” said Cpl. Pete Sabella, a spokesman for the agency.
Sabella also said the sheriff’s office displayed the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety campaign, “Operation Zero Tolerance,” on message boards throughout the county, which may have deterred drivers from drinking and driving.
“Usually we [display] different signs every year and it has a lot to do with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety,” he said.
Lake Lanier incidents decrease amid drowning investigation
Mark McKinnon, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, said the number of boaters arrested for drinking while operating a boat was fewer this year than last, as well.
Eight arrests were made from Saturday through Monday, compared to 10 for the same time period in 2016.
The Hall County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a drowning in response to DNR law enforcement agents finding a body in the lake Saturday.
“Our game wardens recovered a body on Saturday afternoon and we have classified it as a drowning,” McKinnon said. “However, we believe it may have been in the lake for several days.”
No boating injuries or fatalities were otherwise reported over the weekend, he said.
No fatal car accidents this holiday
This year, Forsyth County deputies responded to 21 more accidents than in 2016, which saw 40.
Sabella said this year, though, none were serious injury or fatality wrecks. In 2016, four injuries were reported, one of which later turned fatal.
As of press time Tuesday, the sheriff’s office did not have information as to whether there were any minor injuries from this year’s 61 wrecks.
Division Chief Jason Shivers, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Fire Department, said his men did not work any entrapments or other significant events.
“It was,” he said, “a successfully safe holiday weekend.”