Editorial: A holiday reminder not to drink and drive

This past week, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety and three public safety agencies began the annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" holiday DUI education and enforcement campaign emphasizing to drivers never to drink and drive. State troopers and local law enforcement officers have increased their traffic enforcement during the Christmas/New Year's holiday season.

The increased enforcement effort is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" mobilization, which runs from Dec. 15 through Jan. 2. According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration, approximately one out of three traffic deaths in the United States involve a driver whose Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher.

Georgia law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates are urging anyone planning to include alcohol in their celebration to include a plan for a ride with a sober driver, cab or rideshare.

"The goal of the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign is to eliminate all drunk driving deaths by getting all motorists to always make the wise decision to not get behind the wheel when they are over the limit," said Allen Poole, director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. "Until we reach that day, state troopers and local law enforcement officers will continue to prevent drunk driving deaths by taking drunk and drugged drivers to jail."

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety offered these tips for safe travels during the holidays:

• Plan ahead with a designated driver. Don't wait until you've already started drinking.

• If you find yourself suddenly in need of a sober ride home, call a sober friend, taxi or rideshare service

• If you're having a few family members or friends over to celebrate, be sure to have non-alcoholic drinks available for designated drivers and offer guests the option of staying over if they appear to be too impaired to drive.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911, *GSP or your local law enforcement agency.

AAA Georgia offers free tows for those too impaired to drive during the holiday season through the Tow-to-Go program. The Tow-to-Go program offers free tows for a vehicle and a ride for only the driver for up to 10 miles from Friday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m. through Monday, Jan. 3, at 6 a.m. More information can be found at (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246.

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