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Governor’s office stresses highway safety for holidays

This week the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety announced it is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this holiday season, aiming to reduce the wrecks and fatalities resulting from drinking and driving. 

From Dec. 15 to Jan. 2, law enforcement officers from all across the state will be ramping up coverage and enforcement of Georgia’s drunk driving laws. 

A statement released by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that in 2016 the state of Georgia recorded 368 alcohol-impaired fatalities, 10 more than were recorded in 2015.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28 percent of the 37,461 traffic fatalities in 2016 involved a driver above the legal blood alcohol limit of .08.

“The holidays should be a time for celebrations and making memories, not a time of tragedy,” said Harris Blackwood, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety director.

“Unfortunately, alcohol at many holiday events contributes to the number of impaired drivers on our roads,” Blackwood said. 

To prevent tragedy, the GOHS and NHTSA suggest that people plan ahead on using a designated driver as part of their celebration, to use rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft in situations where a DD isn’t available and to be prepared to take keys away from someone who is impaired. 

They also warn holiday travelers to immediately dial 911 if they suspect an impaired driver is out on the road. 

“We want to keep Georgia’s roads safe this holiday season and help people understand that the only time they should be behind the wheel is when they are sober,” said Blackwood.