Drivers who drink before getting behind the wheel might want to think twice.
The Georgia Office of Highway Safety began its “Zero Tolerance DUI” campaign June 20 with the intent of targeting drunk drivers over the Fourth of July holiday.
According to the office’s press release “law enforcement across the state will be out in full force, aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger by being impaired behind the wheel."
GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said “Drunk driving is a zero tolerance offense. No warnings. You will be arrested and you will go to jail. We repeat this message every year because it’s true.”
Crash and injury rates have decreased over the past year, however fatality rates have remained the same, with six over a 30-hour travel period in 2012 and 20 over a 120-hour travel period in 2013, according to the press release.
There is a one traffic death every five hours over the holiday in Georgia, according to Blackwood.
“That means there are 20 people who won’t be celebrating our nation’s independence this year,” he said.
Operation Zero Tolerance runs though July 6, with the Fourth of July travel period being the 78-hour period from July 3-6.
This is a nation-wide problem, according to the press release, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 179 were people killed from 6 a.m. July 3, to 6 a.m. July 5 in 2012.
Alcohol impairment was involved in 44 percent of the crashes, and 28 percent of those crashes involved a motorist with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, according to the release.
Furthermore, according to 2012 data, more fatal crashes with alcohol-impaired drivers happen at night, with 39 percent, compared to 16 percent that occur during the day.