State Gearing Up For DUI Enforcement on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend
Choose before you booze…drinking or driving, but not both
(ATLANTA) The luck of the Irish won’t save motorists who get caught driving drunk and while the state’s zero tolerance policy toward impaired driving exists 24/7/365, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety is taking special advantage of St. Patrick’s Day to remind drivers that if they don’t drive sober, they’ll get pulled over.
GOHS is joining sober driving coalition TEAM Georgia in warning all St. Patrick’s Day revelers about driving impaired: If you’re over the limit, you’ll be under arrest. No warnings. No excuses.
St. Patrick's Day is a dangerous holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. From 6 p.m. on March 16 to 6 a.m. on March 18 from 2010 to 2014, 266 traffic deaths were recorded because of drunk drivers. In 2014 alone, 28 percent of all crash fatalities during the St. Patrick's Day period were alcohol-related. That same year, nearly half of all crash fatalities between midnight and 6 a.m. on March 18 involved drunk drivers.
The good news is the number of traffic fatalities over St. Patrick’s Day have decreased from 2013 when 32 lives were lost nationwide due to drunk driving and one third of all crash fatalities involved impaired driving.
“Many adults celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with alcohol, and we know many are planning to extend their celebration through the weekend because the holiday falls on a Friday this year,” GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said. “We just want everyone to celebrate responsibly and that includes not getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking alcohol.”
TEAM Georgia is also making sure that it’s not just law enforcement looking out for irresponsible party goers.
“This campaign brings together members of the hospitality industry, restaurants and bars to stand behind a unified message of encouraging safe and responsible holiday celebrations,” said TEAM Georgia Chairman Ron Fennel. “We’re all telling everyone who participates in St. Patrick’s Day to have fun, but be responsible and get home safely."
In addition to warning Georgia motorists that increased enforcement on St. Patrick’s Day will no doubt catch up with them if they decide to drive impaired, GOHS is also asking people to utilize the “Drive Sober, Georgia” smartphone app, which offers a database of safe and sober ride options all over the state.
Besides downloading the “Drive Sober, Georgia” app, there are a few simple ways to ensure a safe conclusion to everyone’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities:
• Plan a safe way home before the partying begins
• Designate a sober driver before you start drinking and leave your car keys at home
• Use a taxi, call a sober friend or use public transportation if you’re too impaired to drive
• Contact local law enforcement if you see a drunk driver
• Be prepared to take away someone’s keys and find them a sober ride home
Contact your local law enforcement agency to learn about enforcement efforts for St. Patrick’s Day in your area. For more information on GOHS, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org or call 404-656-6996.