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Safety campaign launched to combat drunk driving

With the holidays just ahead next week, Georgia motorists should be aware that the annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign is now in full swing. This week, law enforcement officers issued warnings to all drivers that they face imminent arrest if they wind up driving after drinking alcohol.

On Wednesday in Stone Mountain, law enforcement officers held a joint news conference announcing local police departments, sheriff's deputies and Georgia state troopers will all be working together to remove impaired motorists from the state's highways and streets.

The director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety wants drivers to remember that these arrests are 100% preventable. All people need to do is to arrange for a sober ride home when their festive celebrations conclude.

He added that "Too many people ask for a break when they are pulled over for DUI because they know they should not have gotten behind the wheel." But, "Georgia is a zero tolerance state with drunk-driving, and the best way to avoid seeing blue lights in the rear view mirror is to plan ahead."According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 10,500 deaths occurred in 2018 from alcohol-related collisions all over the United States. Just in our state alone, 375 people died from alcohol-related fatalities. That figure is 5% higher than the numbers from 2017, which is disheartening. NHTSA determined that last year, alcohol usage factored into roughly a quarter of Georgia's traffic fatalities.That same data indicated that more deaths from drunk-driving happened in 2018 during the period between Christmas and New Year's Day than over any other holiday periods during the year. In December alone last year, 839 lost their lives in collisions with drunk drivers all over the nation.How can you reduce these rates?The best way to avoid a drunk driving arrest is to never drive after you have been drinking. But you can also offer to ferry tipsy friends and relatives home after office parties and other celebrations this holiday season. If you plan to host your family's Christmas party this year, offer plenty of alternatives to alcohol. Serve a meal or substantial snacks to soak up the booze. Also, to keep guest safer, shut the bar down well before your guests leave the party.

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