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Authorities on the lookout for drunk New Year’s drivers

The Georgia Department of Public Safety wants you to celebrate safely this New Year’s.

Much like they did during the Christmas holiday, state troopers will be patrolling the roads through New Year’s Eve on the lookout for unsafe activity. Col. Mark McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said his crews will be focused on “impaired drivers, unrestrained drivers and passengers, and drivers exceeding the speed limit.”

“Each holiday period, troopers are called to investigate traffic crashes involving serious injuries or fatalities,” McDonough said, “and these crashes could have been prevented.”

During the Christmas enforcement period — which ran from Friday, Dec. 21, to midnight Tuesday — the Georgia State Patrol responded to a total of 685 crashes, including 300 with injuries.

A total of 17 deaths were reported statewide, including the death of a Duluth man in a fatal Christmas Eve incident in Peachtree Corners.

Over 2011’s New Year’s Eve holiday period, the agency arrested 262 people for driving under the influence. It responded to nearly 300 crashes, including seven fatals and 172 with injuries.