As folks all over Georgia celebrate their holiday season traditions with food, family and fun, law enforcement professionals throughout the state will also be out in full force for their traditional DUI enforcement campaign to arrest anyone caught driving impaired.
That’s because despite the fact that Georgia saw an 11% decrease in impaired driving fatalities in 2010, motorists are still taking too many risks when it comes to drinking and driving. So from Dec. 16 to Jan. 2, police officers, deputies and state troopers all over Georgia will be participating in the annual Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over campaign.
This is a campaign of zero tolerance that reminds motorists that if they get caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, they will be arrested and they will go to jail. And while this is the policy 24/7/365 in all 50 states, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is using this holiday enforcement period to remind drivers how dangerous driving drunk can be.
“The message is short and sweet,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “Drive sober or you’ll get pulled over. Drinking alcohol and driving is no present for anyone so if you plan to consume alcohol, you better plan for a sober driver to get you home safely.”
Unfortunately, drivers all over Georgia and, indeed, across the country still think they are invincible and will choose to jeopardize their safety and the safety of others. How do we know? In December 2009, 753 people were killed in crashes that involved drivers or motorcycle riders with a BAC of .08 or higher.
“It’s going to be hard to spread holiday cheer if you’re stuck behind bars for a completely avoidable offense,” said Director Blackwood. “Don’t let your holiday season end in arrest, or worse, death. It doesn’t matter if you’re buzzed, had one too many or way too many. It’s just not worth the risk.”
The good news is there are some simple recommendations for making sure you have a safe and sober holiday season:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your keys at home;
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;
- If you see know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take that person’s keys and help him or her make other arrangements to get home safely.
“Whether you’re going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house or down the street to join a neighbor for holiday festivities, driving impaired is a gift nobody wants,” said Director Blackwood.
For more information on the dangers of impaired driving, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at “Georgia GOHS” and on Twitter at “gohsgeorgia.”
Katie Fallon is the Public Information Officer for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety