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The Fourth Of July And Drunken Driving

Many holidays coincide with an increase in motor vehicle accidents. Independence Day weekend sees a rise in traffic injuries and deaths every year. Part of the problem is simply that more people drive on holidays than at other times of the year. More miles travelled naturally leads to more crashes. Beyond the extra miles, however, is a tendency for people to use poor judgment in the way they celebrate. Drinking and driving arrests tend to increase sharply during holidays. This year, the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety is taking steps to target drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.

In 2012, 179 people were fatally injured in traffic accidents during Fourth of July weekend. Nearly half of those incidents involved drunk drivers. In an attempt to reduce that number, law enforcement agencies in Atlanta and throughout the state are gearing up to stop drunk drivers before accidents occur. Operation Zero Tolerance is the name of campaign intending to make Georgia roads safer. The name is meant to convey the fact that drunk drivers are not issued warnings, but rather are arrested and taken to jail. That policy is not new, but the campaign is hoping to educate, and intimidate, drivers into taking proper precautions such as choosing a designated driver in advance.

Increased patrols and other efforts will go into high gear from July 3 through July 6. While those arrested will certainly find their holiday ruined, that is a far less serious fate than losing a parent, spouse, or child in an accident caused by a drunk driver.

Source: Times Herald, "Campaign Launched Leading To Fourth Of July," by Wes Mayer, 27 June 2014

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