Zero tolerance for St. Patrick's drivers

By JOHN A. WINTERS
john@newnan.com
St. Patrick’s Day celebrants are being reminded about Georgia’s zero tolerance policy regarding drunk driving, especially with the big holiday coming up.
According to statistics provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, more than 700 people were killed nationwide during the upcoming holiday from 2006 to 2010.
“While the familiar refrain on St. Patrick’s Day might be ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish,’ we’d much rather hear impaired partygoers say ‘Drive me, I’m drunk’ to a sober friend, family member or taxi driver,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “There are far too many ways to arrange a sober driver before the festivities begin and far too many consequences if you don’t.”
In addition to warning Georgia motorists about increased enforcement, the agency is also asking partygoers to utilize the “Drive Sober, Georgia” smartphone app. If they find themselves without a sober ride home, users can download the app (available on both Apple and Android markets) to search a database of safe and sober ride options all over the state.
Some programs are free and some are fee-based, but either way, the “Drive Sober, Georgia” app means there is no excuse for driving home drunk on one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year, according to GOHS officials.

The good news is, there are a few more easy ways to ensure a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day: plan a safe way home before the festivities; designate a sober driver ahead of time and leave your car keys at home; use a taxi, call a sober friend or use public transportation to get home safely; contact police if you see a drunk driver; and be prepared to take someone’s keys away and find them a safe ride home if they’re too drunk to drive, the release stated.

For more information about this and other impaired driving awareness efforts, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org or call 404-656-6996.



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