ATLANTA — The Georgia State Patrol is reminding motorists to plan carefully when hitting the highways for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel periods. Troopers are cautioning drivers to plan for a sober designated driver if alcohol consumption will be part of the celebrations.
Col. Mark McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said Georgia State Troopers will be patrolling throughout the holiday periods with enforcement emphasis on impaired drivers, unrestrained drivers and passengers and drivers exceeding the speed limit.
“Each holiday period, troopers are called to investigate traffic crashes involving serious injuries or fatalities, and these crashes could have been prevented,” he said.
The Christmas holiday travel period began at 6 p.m. Friday and ends Monday night.
Last year during the Christmas holiday period, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 351 traffic crashes, which resulted in 280 injuries and three fatalities. Troopers arrested 95 people for driving under the influence during the 78 hours of the holiday period.
The New Year’s holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 30 and ends the night of Jan. 2.
During the New Year’s holiday period last year, troopers investigated 320 traffic crashes in Georgia that resulted in 270 injuries and seven traffic deaths.
During holiday period patrols, 174 people were arrested for driving under the influence.
“Before leaving on the trip, make sure everyone is properly restrained, take frequent rest stops along the way and don’t speed,” he said.
“This is a festive time of the year, and we want everyone to enjoy the holiday season,” McDonough continued, “but we also want everyone to be safe on our highways.”