For over a decade now, Georgia roadways have been patrolled by a special
Georgia State Patrol task force known as the Nighthawks. The Georgia State
Patrol Nighthawks are nighttime patrol program aimed at targeting peak
DUI areas for traffic stops and drunk driving arrests. Not only are the
Nighthawks regularly trained and provided with top-of-the-line resources,
they also frequently step up their patrolling efforts as part of statewide
The GPS Nighthawks were founded in 2004 to patrol the Greater Atlanta area.
The force is considered an arm of the Governor’s Office of Highway
Safety and receives both state and federal funding. Some of its supplemental
funding also comes from H.E.A.T, the state's Highway Enforcement of
Aggressive Traffic program.
This funding allows the Nighthawks to keep their ranks specialized and
well-trained. All Nighthawks officers receive training from the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s field sobriety course. Since
2004, some officers have also been trained in other DUI-related programs,
such as the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and
the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) programs.
The Nighthawks are also well-equipped. They are trained to use the latest
DUI policing equipment, like the Intoxilyzer 9000, and use patrol vehicles
that utilize high-end video and audio recording practices to ensure the
validity of each of their traffic stops.
Where are the Nighthawks?
In Greater Atlanta, the original Nighthawks program regularly patrols Midtwown,
Buckhead, Virginia Highlands, Georgia 400, and I-75 and 85. In 2009, the
Nighthawks expanded by dividing themselves into "North" and
GSP Nighthawks "North" Patrol covers:
- Fulton County (Atlanta)
- Athens-Clarke County
- Cobb County
- DeKalb County
- Clayton County
- Gwinnett County
- Other strategic placements following UGA events
GSP Nighthawk "South" Patrol covers:
- Chatham County
- Bulloch County
In 2012, the force expanded to a "Middle" patrol, as well. This
team covers the areas of Macon and Columbus.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, all in all, there are 28 troopers trained for and assigned to the Nighthawks patrols.
Effective DUI Defense is Still Possible
While the Nighthawks are well-trained and resourceful, that does not mean
that an arrest made by them cannot be challenged in court. Just like any
other DUI charge, these arrests are subject to sensitive protocols and
errors are easily made. When this happens and due process is mishandled,
the accused deserve to be spoken for.
If you have been charged with a DUI, then the time to mount your defense
is now. The legal team at the
Thomas & Willis, LLC has over 200 combined years of DUI defense experience. Over that time,
their award-winning Atlanta DUI defense lawyers have helped countless
drivers navigate both the administrative penalties and criminal charges
against them, advocating and fighting for them at every possible opportunity.
DUI charges can be fought, reduced, and even dismissed. Contact us today
to start exploring your legal options with a
free case evaluation.