GSP watch­ing out for im­paired drivers

The Covington News - - CRIME - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­

Ge­or­gia State Pa­trol are cau­tion­ing drivers to plan for a sober des­ig­nated driver if al­co­hol con­sump­tion will be part of their hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions this year. Troop­ers will be keep­ing a close eye out for im­paired drivers now through the end of the year.

Colonel Mark McDonough, Com­mis­sioner of the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Pub­lic Safety, said Ge­or­gia State Troop- ers will be pa­trolling through­out the up­com­ing 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 Fri­day, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. and ends Tues­day night, Dec. 25. The New Year’s hol­i­day pe­riod be­gins Fri­day, Dec. 28 at 6 p.m. and ends Tues­day night, Jan. 1, 2013. Both hol­i­day pe­ri­ods are 102-hours long.

Last year dur­ing the Christ­mas hol­i­day pe­riod, the Ge­or­gia State Pa­trol in­ves­ti­gated 289 traf­fic crashes which re­sulted in 182 in­juries and one fa­tal­ity. Troop­ers ar­rested 139 peo­ple for driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence dur­ing the 78 hours of the hol­i­day pe­riod. Dur­ing the New Year’s hol­i­day pe­riod, troop­ers in­ves­ti­gated 296 traf­fic crashes in Ge­or­gia that re­sulted in 172 in­juries and seven traf­fic deaths. Dur­ing New Year’s hol­i­day pe­riod pa­trols, 262 peo­ple were ar­rested for driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

State troop­ers, Mo­tor Car­rier Com­pli­ance of­fi­cers and Capi­tol Po­lice of­fi­cers are also par­tic­i­pat­ing in Op­er­a­tion Zero Tol­er­ance, Ge­or­gia’s high vis­i­bil­ity im­paired driv­ing en­force­ment pro­gram. DPS troop­ers and of­fi­cers will be work­ing with lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies through the New Year’s hol­i­day pe­riod to in­ter­cept im­paired drivers on Ge­or­gia roads.

This week­end is also Life Saver Week­end to call at­ten­tion to the dan­gers of driv­ing while im­paired and to en­cour­age all drivers to use cau­tion while they travel this hol­i­day sea­son. Life Saver Week­end is part of Op­er­a­tion CARE (Com­bined Ac­ci­dent Re­duc­tion Ef­fort), spon­sored by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice.

McDonough re­minds drivers to plan their trav­els care­fully and make sure your ve­hi­cle is ready for a long trip by check­ing the pres­sure in the tires; mak­ing sure the wind­shield wiper blades are not cracked; check­ing that all head­lights, brake lights, turn sig­nals, and tag lights are work­ing; and check­ing the ve­hi­cle’s fluid lev­els.

“Be­fore leav­ing on the trip, make sure ev­ery­one is prop­erly re­strained, take fre­quent rest stops along the way, and don’t speed,” he said.

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