The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has again rolled out its annual holiday campaign, “Operation Zero Tolerance,” and that means one thing — law-enforcement officers around the state are out in full force to crack down on drunk drivers through the New Year’s holiday.
If caught behind the wheel, imparied motorists will be arrested.
As usual, Georgia’s holiday impaired-driving campaign coincides with the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program. State and local authorities will be on the lookout for drivers who exceed the legal .08 blood-alcohol-content limit, thereby putting themselves and everyone around them at risk.
“You will see troopers, police officers and deputies making lots of stops during this highly visible enforcement period, and if they suspect anyone is driving while intoxicated, they will show zero tolerance,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood said. “If you are over the limit, you will go straight to jail. No warnings. No excuses.”
Last year, between Nov. 20 and Dec. 31, there were 1,119 alcohol-related crashes, which is up from 997 in 2011 and 836 in 2010, according to a release from the GOHS. Those crashes in 2012 resulted in 679 injuries and 20 deaths.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the holiday season is a particularly deadly time due to the increased number of drunk drivers on the road. In fact, in the Decembers from 2007 to 2011, there were 4,169 people killed in crashes that involved drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher. Of the 32,367 people killed in traffic crashes nationwide in 2011, 31 percent were in alcohol-related crashes.
“The December holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, and we are going to keep our roads safe for holiday travelers heading to visit family and friends,” Blackwood said. “This holiday and every day, we are showing zero tolerance for drunk drivers. If you choose to drive drunk, you will get caught. You will be pulled over, and you will be arrested.”
To learn more about impaired driving consequences and the “Operation Zero Tolerance” campaign, go to www.gahighwaysafety.org.