Since its inception four years ago, Operation Think Twice has been making the streets of Macon County a little safer on New Year's Eve. With the end of the year holiday being one of the year's highest for Driving while intoxicated (D.W.I.) arrests and D.W.I. related accidents, Sheriff Holland and his department vowed to do what they can to make it safer for the community.
With no questions asked, anyone wanting a safe ride home on New Year's Eve was able to call the Sheriff's Department. “This year we transported 52 individuals,” said Holland. “The last report I got, we gave out three D.W.I.s, one of which came after a drunk driver almost struck a police car. I am confident that we made the roads safer this year and this continues to be a great program for the community.”
Holland noted that Operation Think Twice was not just about making sure individuals who go out on New Year's Eve are provided with a free taxi ride home, but it is also a crucial program to ensure that innocent lives who just happen to be on the roads are not hurt by a drunk driver.
“We took potential drunk drivers off the streets and gave them a responsible choice for a ride home,” said Holland.
Participants in the program has varied over the years, with 85 in 2010 and 51 in 2011. With only three D.W.I.s this year, 2012 makes for the fewest citations since the program began, evidence that it is working for the county.
Josh Drake, co-owner of Mulligans Bar and Grille, has seen several of his customers use the service over the years and believes that the program's intent and organization continues to benefit the community each year. “I am certain that Operation Think Twice saved countless lives again this New Year’s,” said Drake. “Thank you to Robbie Holland and the Sheriff's Department, they all did a great job.”
In addition to being escorted home on New Year's Eve, participants received T-shirts, which were provided by the program's third year sponsors, Tim and Alicia Teague, Mulligans, Gooder Grafix & Nathan's Paint & Body.