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Atlanta, Georgia – DUI Checkpoints and Patrols Across Georgia Through Fourth of July Weekend 2010

By admin • Jun 22nd, 2010 • Category: DUI Checkpoints, GA, Lead Story

DISCLAIMER - Any Charges Reported in these Press Releases are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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Operation Zero Tolerance: Over The Limit, Under Arrest Statewide Crackdown Targets Impaired Drivers During Summer Holiday Travel Periods

(ATLANTA)—Along with all the fun of July 4th festivities there can be danger when we hit the road for those backyard barbeques or fireworks shows. Unfortunately our holiday crash stats show the travel season between July 4th and Labor Day can be one of the most dangerous times of year to get behind the wheel.

In Georgia, Operation Zero Tolerance (OZT) is enforced 24-7-365, but special enforcement periods are also used to target travel periods when impaired driving and summer holiday traffic volumes are historically the highest on Georgia’s roadways. During OZT campaigns, police using roadchecks and concentrated patrols enforce the Over the Limit, Under Arrest policy for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08, the legal BAC limit in all 50 states.

This special OZT summer enforcement period starts June 18th and runs through the July 4th weekend. That’s because history tells us Independence Day revelers don’t always remembers to get a sober driver. Across the nation in 2008 during the Fourth of July travel period (6:00PM Thursday, July 3rd to 5:59AM Monday, July 5th), there were a total of 491 traffic fatalities. Out of that national holiday highway death toll, a whopping 43-percent involved a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher. Here in Georgia during the 2008 July 4th travel period, there were 1,905 crashes that resulted in 930 injuries and 21 fatalities. And more than 1-in-4 of those fatalities involved alcohol!

“Commemorating our nation’s independence should not include getting behind the wheel drunk,” said Director Bob Dallas of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). “It’s just not worth the risk. If you don’t want to turn a festive summer holiday into a tragedy, you must find a sober driver before you start celebrating.”

Every 45 minutes… That’s 32 times a day… Someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-impaired driving crash.  Nationally, 37,261 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2008.  Out of that number, 11,773 people were killed in crashes involving at least one impaired driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher.

The numbers show you’re 11 times more likely to die in a crash with a BAC of .08 or higher than if you’re in the same crash with no alcohol in your system at all. Yet millions of people nationwide are still arrested for DUI every year. That’s another reason why all states uniformly enforce the .08 BAC limit.

Why .08? Because it’s at the BAC level of .08 where the risk of a fatal crash increases tremendously. It’s at .08 where critical driving skills like braking, steering, lane changing, depth perception, judgment and response time are dramatically affected. These are the very skills needed to keep everyone safe on our roads.

It’s because of these statistics that GOHS is coordinating with more than 500 Georgia police departments, sheriff’s offices and state patrol posts to run concentrated patrols and set up

sobriety checkpoints on our roadways and interstates this Summer holiday season. Safe drivers will go on their way, but impaired drivers will go to jail.

“So while you’re enjoying the bright, flashing lights of Fourth of July fireworks, think about the bright flashing lights you’ll see in your rear view mirror if you’re caught driving drunk,” said GOHS Director Bob Dallas. “Drunk drivers won’t be able to go home after the July 4th fun. They go  directly to jail.”

“If you do plan to indulge this Fourth of July, there are so many easy ways to make sure you and those around you get home safe,” said GOHS Director Bob Dallas. “Arrange for a sober driver BEFORE you start drinking, store taxi cab company numbers in your cell phone or take mass transit. If you’re the designated driver, it’s very simple…don’t drink! You can also help prevent tragedy by making sure you and your passengers are buckled up. Because the best defense against a drunk driver is always a fastened seatbelt.”

The Summer OZT campaign is also part of the GOHS 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. initiative that runs through the end of the Labor Day travel period in September. Traffic enforcement officers will be patrolling roadways all summer during Summer H.E.A.T. to raise driver awareness about the deadly consequences on speed, impaired driving, and the failure to use safety belts and child restraints.

“So remember, declare your independence from drunk driving on July Fourth,” said GOHS Director Bob Dallas. “Know your limits, be responsible and be prepared to call 9-1-1 if you see an impaired driver endangering other lives on the road.”

Impaired driving is neither an accident nor a victimless crime. The message is simple. If you drive impaired in Georgia, you will go to jail. If you’re Over the Limit, you’ll be Under Arrest. For more information about Operation Zero Tolerance and the 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. campaign, visit the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety at www.gahighwaysafety.org.

For more information:
Katie Fallon, Asst. PIO
404-463-0611 or 888-420-0767
kfallon@gohs.ga.gov

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