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January 30, 2020                                                                                          
Robert Hydrick
Communications Manager
(404) 463-1715 (o) | (404) 859-0141 (c)

Georgia Law Enforcement Remind Drivers There is Nothing “Super” About DUI
GOHS Thunder Task Force will roll into the City of South Fulton and Fairburn for DUI and traffic safety enforcement during Super Bowl weekend

(ATLANTA) The Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies are reminding everyone to avoid getting benched in a jail cell during Super Bowl weekend by making the smart decision not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. 

State troopers, sheriff’s deputies and police officers will maintain their zero tolerance policy for drunk driving this weekend, which means an arrest and ride to jail for any impaired driver they find on the road.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s Thunder Task Force will also be conducting sobriety checkpoints this weekend with the City of South Fulton Police Department, Fairburn Police Department and Georgia State Patrol.  The three-day enforcement operation in these two cities will also include enforcement for other traffic violations including speeding, no seat belts and distraction.

“There is a lot of planning that takes place for those who are ready to watch the game this weekend, and we want to remind everyone to include a ride with a sober driver if alcohol is going to be part of those plans,” Allen Poole, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said.  “State troopers and local officers are going to be on patrol not only in these two cities but across the state looking to prevent crashes by taking drunk and drugged drivers off the road.”

Georgia law prohibits people from operating a motor vehicle when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08 or higher.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates a DUI arrest could cost up to $10,000 or higher with attorney fees, fines, court costs, missed work and higher insurance premiums.

During last year’s Super Bowl weekend, when the game was played in Atlanta, troopers with the Georgia State Patrol made 266 arrests during the three-day period.  21 arrests took place in the early morning hours of that Monday.

According to NHTSA, alcohol is a factor in approximately one out of every four traffic crashes in Georgia.   There were 375 alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities in the state in 2018, which is a five percent increase from the prior year.

The City of South Fulton Police Department is bringing in the GOHS Thunder Task Force after 19 people died in traffic crashes in 2019. The operation begins with the City of South Fulton Police Department, Fairburn Police Department and Georgia State Patrol conducting distracted driving, seat belt and other traffic enforcement patrols on Thursday.  GOHS H.E.A.T. units will arrive the following day for DUI sobriety checkpoints on Friday and Saturday nights.

“Our goal is to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries from crashes involving vehicles as well as pedestrians in our city,” City of South Fulton Police Chief Keith Meadows said. “This law enforcement operation will hopefully serve as an education tool for our citizens.”

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety offers these reminders:
  • Make a plan for a ride with a sober friend, cab or ride-share service before the party starts.
  • Volunteer to be a designated driver and provide designated drivers with non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Designated drivers are those who have not been drinking alcohol.
  • If a friend or guest is too impaired to drive, do not let them drive and help them get a ride with a sober driver.
  • Always wear your seat belt – it is your best defense against an impaired driver.
AAA’s “Tow to Go” will be offering free tows and rides for up to 10 miles for impaired drivers from 6:00 p.m. Friday, January 31 through 6:00 a.m. Monday, February 3.  AAA reminds all drivers their service is safety net for those did not plan ahead and they encourage everyone to always choose a designated driver before celebrating.

For more information, please follow "Georgia GOHS" on Facebook and "gohsgeorgia" on Twitter and Instagram.
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