Cops stay tough on drunk drivers

ATLANTA - Law enforcement statewide is cracking down on drivers who are under the influence.

Operation Zero Tolerance, launched on Dec. 15, will continue through the weekend until midnight New Year's Day, according to a press release issued by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

Law enforcement officials statewide will continue to conduct concentrated patrols and sobriety checkpoints to help decrease the number of impaired drivers who could potentially cause fatal accidents.

Drivers statewide should remember this catch phrase: "Over the Limit, Under Arrest."

The legal limit in the state of Georgia is a blood alcohol concentration of .08.

If you register that or higher, don't plan on going home.

"Drive impaired, and you will go to jail," said Bob Dallas, GOHS director. "The Georgia State Patrol and local traffic enforcement officers will not hesitate to arrest impaired drivers and impound their vehicles during this December Operation Zero Tolerance campaign crackdown,"

According to the press release, 11 people died in traffic crashes on Georgia highways during the 78-hour Christmas driving period in December 2005. There were 2,280 crashes and 949 injuries.

During the 2005-2006 New Year's 78-hour holiday period, 15 people died. There were 2,424 crashes and 1,118 injuries.

Many holiday crashes involved drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, the release said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,033 people were killed nationwide in December 2005 in crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .08 or above.

This year, the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Transportation crash reporting unit predict 13 fatalities, 2,212 traffic crashes and 1,001 injuries during the Christmas holiday period; and 16 fatalities, 2,500 crashes and 1,152 injuries during the New Year's holiday period.

The Christmas holiday period began Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. and ended at midnight Dec. 25.

The New Year's holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 29 and ends at midnight Jan. 1.