THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) - Georgia State Patrol Troopers all across South Georgia have been cracking down on drivers this holiday season.
They said preventing distracted and impaired driving can cut down on the number of wrecks they see during this time.
The holidays are all about family, having fun, and maybe even attending a few holiday get togethers.
If you plan on having a drink - Georgia State Patrol Troopers want you to make sure you have a safe plan to get home.
"That can save you tremendous about of trouble down the road if you're just fortunate enough to get arrested and not get in an accident," said Tommy Peeples, GSP Post 12.
This past weekend there was 3 DUI arrests by GSP in Valdosta,1 in Albany, and 5 in Thomasville.
"Unfortunately we're expecting to see a rise in that and we're going to combat it," said Peeples.
In total nine DUI arrests in South Georgia. Although that number seems low that's nine times other drivers on the road were at risk and never even knew it.
Troopers say there's two main things they have been looking for out on the roads. One of them is when people have been drinking during the holidays, get behind the wheel, and become impaired.
Also those folks who are sending text message, checking fb, whatever it may be on their phone. Troopers said it can wait.
They crack down on this so hard because some of those drivers who are distracted or impaired aren't so lucky to just end up being arrested. Sometimes their decisions result in serious wreck; taking someone else's life.
"When someone passes away from a tragic accident over the holiday period, every year from now on that's what that family is going to remember," said Peeples.
This past weekend there was a total of 17 wrecks in South Georgia, 5 in Albany, 9 in Valdosta, and 3 in Thomasville. Having to respond to wrecks during the holidays is emotional, even for State Troopers.
"We know, when we have to do those family notifications and we see people that are hurt seriously injured in accident or killed and we're having to tell the family their loved one isn't coming home. Its hard, its always hard but its much more difficult this time of year," said Peeples.
Trooper said they do have a plan set for the upcoming weekend. They want drivers to be aware and even mentioned simple things like going 10 miles per hour over the limit could get you stopped.
"Its a common thought that a lot of people think they can go 10 miles over the speed limit you wont get stopped, not now. You go 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, we'll get you stopped," said Peeples.