Operation Zero Tolerance for July 4 HolidayThe Gainesville Police Departments Police Traffic Services Unit (PTSU) in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will be launching its Operation Zero Tolerance DUI Campaign for July 4th“Red, White and Busted”!
Fourth of July usually means seeing bright lights in the sky during evening fireworks displays, but because drunk driving has also become an Independence Day tradition, many Georgians will also be seeing bright lights in their rearview mirror. That’s because police officers, sheriff’s deputies and troopers from all over the state will be on the lookout for impaired driving during what has become one of the deadliest holidays of the year.
To combat this trend, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) will be launching its annual summer campaign of Operation Zero Tolerance: Over the Limit, Under Arrest on June 22nd Lasting through the July 4th travel period, the campaign will include the participation of hundreds of law enforcement partner agencies from across Georgia in conjunction with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
Why such a high-visibility campaign? Because in Georgia and nationwide, impaired driving is a deadly July 4th custom. 392 people were killed across the country during the Fourth of July travel period in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those deaths, 39 percent were in crashes that involved at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
“July 4th is a time we celebrate our nation’s independence,” said Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “But we’re hoping that this year, Georgia motorists will declare their independence from drunk driving.”
Overall, drunk driving continues to be a problem in Georgia as well. In 2010, the state experienced 298 alcohol-related fatalities, which accounted for a quarter of all traffic deaths. Pick-up truck drivers were most likely to have a BAC of .08 or higher in fatal crashes while Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Chatham and Richmond counties had the most alcohol-related fatalities of all 159 counties in Georgia.
To save lives on our roadways this Fourth of July, local law enforcement will be cracking down on impaired driving through increased sobriety checkpoints, roving and saturation patrols and other enforcement methods.
“The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays due to an increase in impaired driving fatalities,” said Director Blackwood. “Too many people die behind the wheel each year due to those who choose to drink and drive so our officers will be out in full force showing zero tolerance for impaired drivers.”
As if the consequences of drunk driving aren’t bad enough, the fatality trend is disproportionately affecting young people. Of all Fourth of July impaired driving fatalities in 2010, 46 percent were between the ages of 18 and 34.
So as folks across Georgia and the southeast get ready for food, fun and fireworks this July 4th, they should consider themselves warned. If they drive impaired in Georgia, they will be caught and they will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses. If they don’t drive sober, they will get pulled over.