Published Friday, February 01, 2013

Drinking & driving crackdown Super Bowl weekend

By JOHN A. WINTERS

john@newnan.com

Georgia law enforcement officials are taking part in a nationwide DUI crackdown in anticipation of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII.

Tied to that, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is encouraging drivers to download a free smartphone app called “Drive Sober, Georgia” that helps them find a sober ride on Super Bowl Sunday.

The app provides a list of free and paid rides in 10 cities across the state and in metro Atlanta. It also gives contact information for the AAA and Budweiser “Tow-to-Go” service for more rural areas.

“We don’t think there’s ever an excuse to drive impaired in Georgia,” Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said. “But, with this app, we know there won’t be an excuse to drive impaired.”

Drunk-driving crashes made up nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2010 and resulted in 10,228 that year, according to statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

“Before you take that first sip of that first cold beer on Feb. 3, take a minute to find a sober ride home,” Blackwood said. “If you don’t have a plan to avoid driving drunk, you can rest assured that your local law enforcement agency will have a plan to take you to jail.”

The Tow-to-Go program has been offered for more than 15 years. The goal is to discourage an intoxicated person from getting behind the wheel. Anyonem can use the service between Friday and Sunday.

For those who call, the AAA offers a confidential ride within a 10-mile radius to a safe location. The car is towed and the driver rides in the tow truck. For Georgians, the number is: (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or 855-286-9246.

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