ATLANTA, GA. (WRBL) –  Wednesday Georgia law enforcement officers offered their one and only warning for drivers to not get behind the wheel if they have been drinking.

The warning of ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ was issued at a news conference in Stone Mountain Wednesday morning. Officials said state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, and police officers will be working during the holidays to take all drunk and drugged drivers off the road and to jail.

Law enforcement officials remind everyone the best way to avoid being arrested for DUI is to pass the keys to a sober driver.

“Too many people ask for a break when they are pulled over for DUI because they know they should not have gotten behind the wheel,” Allen Poole, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said. “Georgia is a zero tolerance state with drunk-driving, and the best way to avoid seeing blue lights in the rear view mirror is to plan ahead for a sober ride before the party begins.”

While the number of drunk-driving deaths in the United States has fallen over the last four decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says more than 10,500 people died in alcohol-related crashes in the United States last year. 

In Georgia, there were 375 alcohol-related fatalities in the state in 2018, which is a five percent increase from the previous year. According to NHTSA, alcohol was a factor in approximately one out of four traffic deaths in the state last year.

NHTSA data shows there were more drunk-driving related fatalities during the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods than during any other holiday period in 2018.  There were 839 people killed in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver in the United States during the month of December last year.

“The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of the year to spend with family, but there is nothing joyful when someone dies in a crash caused by a drunk driver,” Poole said. “The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” mobilization is about saving lives and keeping impaired drivers off the road.”

GOHS offers the following tips for the holiday season:

  • Plan for a sober ride with friend, ride-share or cab before going out
  • Let your others know they can call you when they need a ride with a sober driver
  • Party hosts should provide non-alcoholic drinks for their guests
  • A designated driver is one who has not been drinking
  • Report suspected drunk drivers by calling *GSP or your local law enforcement agency

Another option for a sober ride during the holidays is with AAA’s “Tow-To-Go” program.  The free tow and ride (two person limit) of up to 10 miles begins at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, December 20 and will run until 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 2, 2020.  Those interested in more information can call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO (855-286-9246).