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NEWS RELEASE
September 2, 2020
                                                                                  
Contact:
Robert Hydrick
Communications Director
(404) 463-1751 (o) | (404) 859-0141 (c)
robert.hydrick@gohs.ga.gov
 
 
Drivers reminded to not get behind the wheel if alcohol is part of the weekend holiday plans
State troopers and local law enforcement officers will be working to prevent traffic crashes during the long holiday weekend
 
(ATLANTA)  The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reminds everyone the Labor Day holiday weekend will not end well if you are drunk sitting in a jail cell.

That is why GOHS and Georgia law enforcement officers urge anyone planning to include alcohol in their holiday celebration to also include a plan for a ride with a sober driver before the weekend begins.

State troopers, sheriff’s deputies, and police officers will be working throughout the holiday weekend to prevent crashes by taking all drunk drivers they find on the road to jail.

“We know there are going to be plenty of people on the road for one last trip before the end of summer, and we want everyone to get safely to their destination,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said.  “The only way to prevent people from dying in drunk driving crashes is for everyone to make the smart decision to not drink and drive this holiday weekend and every day of the year.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 378 people killed in traffic crashes in the United States during the 78-hour Labor Day holiday travel period in 2018 and 38 percent of fatal traffic crashes during the 2018 Labor Day holiday travel period involved an alcohol-impaired driver.

The Georgia State Patrol reported that nine people were killed in crashes during the 78-hour 2019 Labor Day holiday weekend travel period that began at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 30 and ended at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 2.

According to NHTSA, alcohol was a factor in one out of four traffic crashes in Georgia in 2018 when 375 people died in alcohol-related crashes.  This is a five percent increase from 2017 when 356 people lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes.

“It is inexcusable that even one person has to die in a drunk driving crash because these type of crashes are completely preventable,” Poole said.  “Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking is a selfish decision that can ruin not only your life but also the lives of others.”

Eliminating drunk driving on our roads is a team effort and there are several things everyone can do to promote responsible driving.
  1. Plan a ride home with a sober driver before going out.
  2. If someone you know has been drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel.
  3. If you are hosting a party, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  4. Always wear a seat belt - It is your best defense against an impaired driver.
(END RELEASE)
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