Georgia authorities start Labor Day crackdown of drunken drivers

Georgia authorities today kicked off this year’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Labor Day campaign.

The campaign, which runs through Sept. 3, includes a zero tolerance campaign against impaired driving. Police officers, deputies and state troopers statewide will participate in a high-visibility enforcement campaign and will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the crackdown.

“On average, there is one alcohol-related traffic death every 51 minutes in this country,” said Director Blackwood. “Here in Georgia, we’re trying to reduce this tragic loss of life by getting impaired drivers off our roads. We know campaigns like this help reduce drunk driving crashes by as much as 20 percent so we’re using Labor Day to reinforce the zero tolerance policy that exists in Georgia 365 days a year.”

Nationwide in 2010, 147 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes during the Labor Day weekend. Of the 147 deaths, 80 percent happened between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and among 18-to-34-year-olds killed during that weekend, 54 percent were alcohol-impaired, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

“We want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired and we hope this campaign will reinforce the message to never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said in a news release. “Those who choose to break the law can face jail time, loss of their license and steep financial consequences. It’s simply not worth the risk.”

For more information on the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober. For more information on Georgia’s efforts to combat impaired driving, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org.

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