Troopers to crack down on impaired drivers this weekend

Published 6:26 pm Saturday, September 5, 2015

ATLANTA — The Labor Day weekend is quickly approaching, and the Georgia State Patrol is reminding motorists to put safety first.
“Troopers will be on concentrated and high visibility patrols actively looking for impaired and unsafe drivers this holiday weekend,” said Col. Mark W. McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
The 78-hour Labor Day travel period began at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4, and ends at midnight on Labor Day, Monday.
Use caution as you travel this weekend.
“Traffic will be heavy as vacation travelers will add to the normal weekend traffic in Georgia as many people take to the roadways for a final summer trip of the year,” said  McDonough.
Last year during a similar travel period, troopers investigated 473 traffic crashes over the Labor Day weekend that resulted in 285 injuries and six fatalities. In addition to traffic crash investigations, troopers arrested 234 people for driving under the influence.
Do not drive impaired. This holiday period, the Georgia State Patrol is participating in the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, a nationwide mobilization against impaired drivers. State troopers will be working alongside sheriff’s deputies and police officers to apprehend impaired drivers. Driving impaired is a serious crime.
“If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested,” said McDonough.
As you gather this weekend with family and friends to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, make safety a priority. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you travel:
• Wear your seat belt. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up before you hit the road, no matter how short the trip.
• Obey the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit reduces the amount of available time needed to avoid a crash.
• Avoid distracted driving. Refrain from performing any activity that may take your focus off of the road, such as texting while driving.
• Be courteous to other drivers. Stay alert of your surroundings and show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads.
• Properly install child safety seats. Georgia law requires children under the age of eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age and height.
• Do not leave children and pets in hot cars. Get in the habit of regularly checking the back seat and back floor area for children and animals, each time you exit your vehicle.
The Labor Day holiday period is also an Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort. This is a nationwide traffic safety initiative among state highway patrols and state police agencies in which troopers and officers across the United States and Canada work together during holiday periods to reduce the number of traffic deaths through high visibility patrols and education.
The holiday traffic count will again be updated throughout the holiday period on the Georgia Department of Public Safety website: