New year brings no local road fatalities

ALBANY -- While the state braced for a projected 16 traffic fatalities during the New Year's holiday weekend, Albany and Dougherty County roads were fatality free Thursday into the early hours of Friday.

There were no vehicle-related fatalities reported in the period from 6 p.m. Thursday, New Years Eve, to about 5 p.m. Friday, New Year's Day, by any police agency.

There were three drunk driving arrests reported on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, according to police reports. A 1:40 a.m.

Thursday, an altercation between a man and his wife led to the arrest of Bernell Hale, 44, on the 900 block of Oak Hill Lane, a Dougherty County Police report stated.

"Mr. Dwayne Hale reported that his wife, Bernell Hale, was extremely intoxicated and upset," the police report stated. "She busted out both passenger side windows and front windshield of his 2009 Toyota Tacoma with a golf club."

While police talked to Dwayne Hale, his wife drove up and was placed under arrest for drunken driving, the report stated. She refused an breath test and was taken to Dougherty County Jail, the report added.

Bernell Hale was booked into jail and subsequently released on $4,000 bail, a jail spokeswoman said.

"This was so early on New Year's Eve morning, I don't think it counts as a New Years Eve DUI," said Lt. Cliff Rouse of the Dougherty County Police Department.

The holiday isn't over, according to state Department of Public Safety tabulations, until midnight Sunday. Police officials hope that the safe holiday will hold through the rest of the weekend.

The Albany Police Department reported a drunken driving arrest that may have been just after the turn of the New Year, said APD Sgt. William Dowdell. No details were immediately available, he said.

"Albany and our area are unique on holidays," Dowdell said. "Most people go out of the city for holidays and those that don't mostly stay at home."

The Lee County Sheriff's Office put Rickie Miller Lloyd Jr., 24, in jail about 3:15 a.m. Friday for multiple violations, including two drunken driving charges, a jail report stated.

Lloyd was arrested on the 2600 block of Nottingham Way and charged with impeding traffic flow, having an open container by a driver, drunken driving/alcohol and drugs, drunken driving/less safe and a second open container violation, a jail report stated.

Lloyd was freed on $2,166 bail, the jail report stated.

Despite the complaints of people shooting off of guns in the city limits to celebrate the New Year, Dowdell said he found that the night was a typical one for the city.

"We get out to the complaint but it (the shooting) is over," Dowdell said. "The same with the fights. By the time we get there they have gone."

The Dougherty Sheriff's Office offered New Year's Eve partiers a ride home if a ride were needed from 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. No information on the number of rides sheriff's deputies gave to drivers

was available Friday.