Don’t wreck the holidays before you can deck the halls
♦ December will bring increased DUI enforcement to Georgia
As the calendar year winds down and holiday festivities start up, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is once again joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make sure Georgia’s motorists stay off Santa’s naughty list. Whether you’re local or just in from out of town, driving impaired will not only get you on that list, but will send you straight to jail.
The reason for the message is all too clear. During the 2017 Christmas travel period in Georgia, there were 15 total traffic deaths between Dec. 22 at 6pm and 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 26. Statewide, the state patrol alone investigated 515 traffic crashes that resulted in 129 injuries and 10 fatalities. They also arrested 192 people for driving under the influence, while an additional 7,323 citations and 12,312 warnings were issued.
“The holidays are a time for fun, family and friends, but also a time for using extra caution on the roads” GOHS Communications Robert Hydrick said. “Unfortunately, alcohol at many holiday events contributes to the number of impaired drivers on our roads. Help us spread the message that buzzed driving is drunk driving so if you plan to drink, plan ahead for a sober ride home.”
It’s not just Georgia where DUI crashes are a problem. According to NHTSA, 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2017, and 29 percent of those fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol over the legal limit. And it isn’t just alcohol that affects driving. Drug-impaired driving is an increasing problem. The bottom line is if you feel different, you drive different.
“We want to keep our roads safe this holiday season and help people understand that the only time they should be behind the wheel is when they are sober,” Hydrick said. “Driving high or drunk can not only change your life, but the innocent lives of your passengers, other motorists and their passengers, and pedestrians.
GOHS and NHTSA suggest the following safety tips to enjoy a safe night out this holiday season:
If you plan to drink, plan for a sober ride home. If you’re the designated driver, take the responsibility seriously.
Even if you’ve only had one drink, designate a sober driver.
Use rideshare programs or public transportation.
Be prepared to take keys away from someone who is impaired and call 9-1-1 if you see an impaired driver on the road.
For more information on the impaired driving program at the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, go to www.gahighwaysafety. org or visit us on social media at www.facebook. com/gahighwaysafety and @gohsgeorgia on Twitter.