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Zero Tolerance During the Holidays

December 13, 2012
Police lights

The end of 2012 has brought a new sense of urgency for Georgia besides battling the Christmas shopping crowds and making New Year’s resolutions. For the first time in 6 years, Georgia is on track to experience an increase in traffic fatalities.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is adding a special message to its normal enforcement campaign this time of year. In addition to reminding Georgia motorists that if they don’t drive sober, they’ll get pulled over, GOHS has also launched Operation Safe Holidays to ask our drivers to be extra careful on Georgia roads so the state doesn’t reach a 6-year milestone of traffic deaths.

The holiday season isn’t just dangerous in Georgia. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 2,597 people were killed in traffic crashes across the country in December 2010. 775 of them were in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers.

Drunk driving can also create a tremendous financial burden. The average cost of a DUI can climb to nearly $10,000. DUI’s are a drain on the state’s resources, the offender’s resources and the resources of any potential victim.

Here are a few simple tips to get home safely if you plan to drink this holiday season:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your keys at home;
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;

Georgia’s annual holiday campaign of Operation Zero Tolerance begins on December 14th and will last through New Year’s Day.

Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety

About the Author

Harris Blackwood was appointed director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety by Governor Nathan Deal on January 10, 2011. Prior to his appointment, he served as a senior advisor to the governor’s campaign and communications director for the inaugural activities.

A seventh generation Georgian, Director Blackwood is an Atlanta native who grew up in the Walton County community of Social Circle.  It was there, as a teenager, he launched his career in communications as a reporter for nearby radio stations and newspapers.

His previous experience in state government includes management positions with the Georgia Department of Corrections and the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.

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