Zero Tolerance for drunk drivers this holiday weekend -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Zero Tolerance for drunk drivers this holiday weekend

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  The New Year's holiday travel period is in full swing, and it can be one of the deadliest times of the year.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety calls impaired driving one of America's deadliest crimes. Last December, 753 people were killed across the country in crashes involving drivers with illegal blood alcohol levels. Law enforcement in southwest Georgia and statewide say this New Year's if you're over the limit, you will be placed under arrest. That's why they're urging everyone to think ahead and designate a driver.

It's the biggest celebration night of the year, New Year's Eve, and for your own safety police urge you to plan ahead.

"Either stay at home, have a party at home, make arrangements for other people to drive for you, designate a driver," said Sgt. Eric Herman, Dougherty County Police.

The traffic numbers for last year's New Year's Eve holiday reveal just how dangerous it can turn out.

"Last year there were eleven fatalities statewide, 457 injuries and over 2,000 crashes and we're working very hard this year to get people to listen to our message," said Michelle Strickland, Albany Safe Communities.

The message is simple, don't drink and drive, and yet many do. The Georgia State Patrol plans to be out in force adding to the local law enforcement on the roads.

"The heat units will be out and our regular shift of officers will be out," said Herman.

Impaired drivers are often easy to spot.

"They're weaving all over the road, or speeding or they're going way too slow. A lot of times that's an indicator they drive really, really slow and they're over cautious," said Herman.

Sgt. Herman says the likelihood of causing a crash goes up if you're impaired and if you're impaired you're more likely not to buckle up.

"Always, every time, every ride, even if its just around the corner," said Strickland.

They say it's up to everyone to be safe on south Georgia's highways.

Law enforcement officers also promise concentrated patrols and sobriety checkpoints to protect the millions of innocent motorists who will be traveling through Sunday to visit family and friends.

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