Georgia cops to be out in force this July 4

Atlanta police officers on Peachtree Street on March 14, 2015. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

ATLANTA ( — Cops in Georgia will be out in force this July 4, cracking down on drunken drivers, aggressive motorists and other traffic scofflaws.

The Georgia State Patrol and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are teaming up with local authorities to crack down on impaired motorists during the 78-hour holiday period this weekend. In addition to drunken drivers, they will be looking for unbuckled drivers and passengers, improper child car safety restraints and other traffic safety violations.

“A record number of people are predicted to be traveling during this holiday weekend,” Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said in a news release. “With so many vehicles on the road, it is imperative that drivers buckle up, slow down and don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking alcoholic beverages.”

Alcohol was a factor in almost 40 percent of traffic deaths nationwide during last year’s July 4 holiday weekend, officials said. The 15 people killed in traffic crashes in Georgia during last year’s July 4 holiday period was one more than in 2014, while the number of traffic crashes and injuries during the 2015 holiday period increased by 15 percent.

More than 660 people have already died in a crash in Georgia this year. The Peach State remains on pace to match or surpass the 1,432 fatalities last year, which would mark the state’s first increase in traffic deaths in a decade.

The July 4 holiday “is one we generally see people consuming alcohol during their activities at the pool, lake, cookout and other celebrations,” Blackwood said. “If you plan on putting alcoholic beverages in your cooler, then make a plan to have someone drive you home.”


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