Hands Across the Border aims to stop impaired driving

HAZEL GREEN, Ala. - Law enforcement in Alabama and Tennessee are pairing up to stop impaired driving.

As part of the Hands Across the Border initiative, there will be a road block on both sides of the state line Friday evening.

"All of us are out in force trying to make sure everybody arrives alive at their destination," said Lt. Tony Burnett.

Booze it and lose it. That's the message law enforcement in both states want you to know.

"Often times they may think there is some leniency on the other states side. So they will come over to the other state and do this. We want to show them that this is a partnership. We are just as serious in Alabama, and they are just as serious in Tennessee about people driving under the influence," said Trooper Curtis Summerville.

Summerville said August in a high month for traffic fatalities. He said many of those deaths a preventable.

"It's all about choices. We encourage people to go out and have a good time. Go out and enjoy yourself but it's about making choices, making a plan, before you go out and drive," said Summerville.

"It's not about writing tickets. It's about saving lives," explained Burnett.

Amy Dennis lost her son Dez in a drunk driving accident in 2013.

"I stayed in bed for about the first two years," said Dennis.

She decided that sharing the story of her personal tragedy could impact others.

"It helps me just as much as I want to help other people," said Dennis.

She says most people don't intend to hurt anyone when they get behind the wheel drunk. However, she wants them to know the consequence of the decision.

"You can take another life, and that ruins lives. Not just the person you killed, it ruins other people's lives," said Dennis.

Dennis believes she will never be the same. She thinks about her son every morning when she wakes up, and every night before she falls asleep.

"It's just a new way of life. But I do want to bring awareness, and try to change as many people as I can. If I can save one life then I've done a good deed," said Dennis.

The Hands Across the Border campaign will go through Labor Day.