Law enforcement: Don’t drink and drive this New Year’s - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement: Don’t drink and drive this New Year’s

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Georgia State Patrol troopers and local law enforcement agencies will be out in full force the next few days looking for drunk drivers.

Last year there were seven fatal accidents and 262 DUI arrests on Georgia's roads during the New Year's holiday period.

"They think that they're just driving a short distance, but everything is going to be fine. It's that short distance that they're driving that can be deadly," said GSP Trooper Robert Corbin.

Authorities want those numbers to drop drastically and so does AAA, which is now pushing for Ignition Interlock Devices (IID's) to be installed on driver's vehicles after their first DUI conviction.

IID's are devices which motorists have to blow into before they can start their car.  If they're not sober, the car won't start.

Courts usually order this to be placed in cars after someone's second DUI conviction, but AAA wants it to be in after the first conviction.

"DUI's are getting pricier and pricier," said Dougherty County DUI school owner Debra Storm.

Storm says she supports AAA's proposal because she believes these devices can save lives.

She even says she has students who are grateful the disabling devices are in their car so they aren't able to drive drunk.

"Any conviction of DUI has a history behind it of many more times when the person has driven, but not been caught and so I really believe it will reduce deaths from DUI's," said Storm.

If convicted for DUI storm says the aftermath isn't cheap and is a hassle.

"There's the fine plus there are court costs, there are lawyer costs, there's time away from your job because of incarceration," said Storm.

Now Law enforcement wants to make sure everyone makes it home safely on New Year's.

"Have a great time. You should celebrate, but make sure you're safe on the highways," said Trooper Corbin.

1 in every 3 crashes is alcohol related here in the state of Georgia. A designated driver is recommended for anybody who plans to drink while out this holiday travel period.

GSP officials say the New Year holiday crackdown started Friday.

Last year, troopers investigated 296 crashes over the New Year holiday period that resulted in 172 injuries and seven deaths.

 

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