Operation Zero Tolerance
CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR'S 2015
Drunk Driving Ruins The Holidays
State Warns Motorists to ‘Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over’
(ATLANTA)– If your holiday plans include having a cocktail, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has a message for you…Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Because the holiday travel period is such a dangerous time on Georgia roads, law enforcement agencies statewide will be actively searching for and arresting impaired drivers Dec. 16 to Jan. 1 in conjunction with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
The reason for the campaign is all too clear. During the 2014 holiday travel period in Georgia, there were 14 traffic deaths in only 102 hours from 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 to midnight on Dec. 28. During all of 2014, there were 8,931 alcohol-involved traffic crashes in Georgia that resulted in 5,250 injuries and 165 deaths.
“This has been a rough year in Georgia for traffic fatalities and impaired driving, along with distracted driving and unbelted crashes, is a big part of that,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said. “We want people to make it to their family and friends safely so they can celebrate the holiday season. That’s why we’re warning people who will be out celebrating that Georgia is a zero tolerance state. If caught driving impaired, you will not get a warning. You will be arrested and you will go to jail.”
It’s not just Georgia where holiday drunk driving crashes are a problem. In 2013, 10,076 people nationwide were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver and in December alone that year, 733 people were killed in crashes involving a driver with a blood alcohol of .08 or higher. Twenty-three of those people died on Christmas Day.
GOHS is also reminding Georgia motorists that a sober ride home is always within their reach by downloading “Drive Sober, Georgia”, the free smartphone app available for Apple and Android devices. The app lists both paid and free sober ride programs available statewide. Free sober rides home are also available through Checker Cab and AAA’s Tow To Go from Christmas Eve through Jan. 2.
In addition, GOHS is reminding all sober motorists to remain alert during the holidays. If you see a drunk driver on the road, report it right away by calling 9-1-1 or dialing *GSP on your cell phone, which will connect you to the nearest state patrol post. If you know someone who has been drinking is about to get behind the wheel, take away their keys.
“We’ve got to work together to make our roads safer during the holidays and year-round,” Blackwood said. “So be sure to find a sober ride home ahead of time, program taxi numbers into your phone or be the designated driver yourself.”
For more information on GOHS and its impaired driving efforts, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org.