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Drivers put on notice
Police increase watch for DUIs

LAWRENCEVILLE - Twelve motorists died in Georgia during the Christmas travel period last year.

Officials with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety think that's exactly 12 too many.

The agency on Friday launched Operation Zero Tolerance, an enforcement campaign that aims to strain the state's roadways of impaired holiday revelers.

The initiative calls for a wave of high-visibility sobriety checkpoints throughout the state, running until Jan. 4.

Officials have found that impaired drivers cause one of every three fatal crashes on Georgia roads each year.

"Every one of those tragic, alcohol-related deaths could have been prevented," said GOHS director Bob Dallas. He warns, "the closer we come to the New Year's travel period, the deadlier the calendar becomes."

Dallas said 2008 marks the third Christmas season that agencies across Georgia have mobilized "literally thousands" of traffic enforcement officers to thwart drunk driving.

On the local front, Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli said it's unlikely that any "special roadblocks" will be activated, but DUI units will recruit officers from elsewhere in the department to assist in patrols.

"We probably will be more vigilant," Schiralli said. "Being the holiday, there's going to more intoxicated drivers out there."