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Drinking and driving not worth risk
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Editor,  It’s that time of year ...
Drunk driving is still one of America’s deadliest crimes. And this travel period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is still one of the deadliest and most dangerous times to be on America’s roadways due to the increase in holiday partying and impaired driving.

It’s hard to believe ...
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,076 people were killed nationwide in December last year in crashes involving a driver with an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or above.

It’s a matter of chemistry ...
The BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .08 is the point at which the fatal crash risk significantly increases and virtually everyone is seriously impaired. At that point, all of the critical driving skills are affected: braking, steering, lane changing, judgment and response time.

It’s simple math ...
Most motorists don’t realize the risk of a driver dying in a crash at .08 BAC is at least 11 times that of drivers without alcohol in their system. That’s why driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state.

It’s the law ...
Yet too many people still ignore the law. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, more than 1.3 million people were arrested for driving under the influence in 2005.

It’s still driving impaired ...
Why? Because way too many still people believe you have to be “falling down drunk” to be too impaired to safely drive. And that’s where Georgia’s new “Over The Limit. Under Arrest” campaign comes in. Research proves that high visibility enforcement, coupled with focused media attention, results in reduced impaired driving crashes and fatalities. In Georgia, cops call that combination Operation Zero Tolerance

It’s Operation Zero Tolerance ...
Georgia’s OZT holiday enforcement crackdown is scheduled for Dec. 14 through Jan. 1. Georgia will mobilize along with thousands of local and state law enforcement agencies nationwide.
It’s easy to avoid ...
In Georgia alone, more than 500 police departments, sheriff’s offices and State Patrol Posts will set up sobriety checkpoints and run concentrated patrols on our roadways and interstates. But designating a sober driver and refusing to let your friends drive drunk are two of several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Here are a few more important tips:
• Plan ahead: Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
• If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you safely home;
• Do not allow alcohol to be opened or consumed in the vehicle.
• Obey all traffic laws and resist influences to take risks.
• Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement;
• Wear your safety belt and make sure everyone else in your car is buckled up too, every seat, every time. Seat belts are still your best defense against an unexpected confrontation with a drunk driver.  
• And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who’s about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they’re going safely.

It’s not worth the risk ...
Drunk driving is deadly serious and it’s against the law. If you drive drunk this holiday season, you will be caught and you will go to jail. Violators will be spending their December paychecks on bail, court, lawyers and towing fees instead of buying holiday presents. No amount of good cheer can save you from the consequences of impaired driving. Don’t take the chance.
Remember: Over The Limit. Under Arrest.

Bob Dallas, director
Georgia Governor’s Office
of Highway Safety
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