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No traffic fatalities, more DUIs in Forsyth County at start of new year

FORSYTH COUNTY — Local law enforcement officials often describe the New Year’s Eve holiday travel period as hit or miss for crashes and driving under the influence arrests, but this year posted the most DUIs since 2011.

Throughout the long holiday weekend, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office charged nine people with DUI, according to Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the agency. Five of those arrests fell between Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, which were a Thursday and Friday.

Four people were arrested for DUI between 7 p.m. Dec. 31, 2014, and 9 a.m. Jan. 1, 2015, which fell on a Wednesday and Thursday.

Over that span  in 2013, there were three DUIs. No one was arrested for impaired driving in 2012, which was a rainy New Year’s Eve. There were six DUIs in 2011.

While DUIs may have increased over the past few years, this start to the new year began on a more positive note regarding wrecks, as there were no fatalities on Forsyth County roads.

Deputies responded to 26 crashes during the same time frame, compared to 22 in 2015.

Rodriguez said four of those were listed as crashes with injuries, one of which was initially called out as life threatening, though the man was downgraded to stable at an area hospital.

Two injuries resulted from wrecks last year, one of which was fatal.

Forrest Bushong, a 27-year-old from Cumming, died after he lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree near Mashburn Elementary School about 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2015.

Deputies also assisted Cumming police in a pursuit that ended outside city limits in the early morning hours of 2016.