Driving under the influence spikes in LaGrange causing increase in traumas and more police patrol

Top Stories

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – According to LaGrange Police, this year there have been 76 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests, six accidents and seven fatalities all due to drinking and driving. Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center along with the police department see in an increase in both injuries and fatalities starting Thanksgiving weekend.

Marshall McCoy, the Lieutenant of Traffic Enforcement and Community Outreach for the LaGrange Police Department, said the number of drunk drivers in the area increases during the holiday season starting Thanksgiving weekend every year. The number spikes the most that weekend and continues steadily throughout December.

“I look for us to have a busy holiday season. As we’ve come out of a lot of restrictions from what we’ve had last year, this year we’re seeing a lot of people on the roads so I do anticipate that we’re going to be out, we’re going to make the arrests. That number could in fact, if we find 25 people drinking and driving, that number would double from last year,” said McCoy.

McCoy said about half of all the fatality accidents in the city have been alcohol related. He credits that number to many social gatherings taking place in the city during the holiday season.

Dr. Ashley Orr, is an Emergency Medicine Physician and the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center, he said the emergency department will likely see one case of alcohol related trauma a day throughout December.

“They just don’t realize that the four drinks they had cause them to be really drunk and they think they’re still in control. It’s not so much the excuse of no one would get them they just mostly think ‘I’m not that impaired or I’m fine or it’s only a half mile down the street’ but honestly it doesn’t matter if you’re impaired, you’re impaired,” said Dr. Orr.

Dr. Orr expects to see 15-25 cases of alcohol related trauma in the emergency room for the month of December.

Despite having local taxicab services in LaGrange, McCoy and Dr. Orr agree that having popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft would bring down the number of drunk drivers in the area. They also agree on the importance of planning ahead and having a designated driver when drinking alcohol.

The LaGrange Police will be beginning their Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign on Dec. 17, 2021 which means officers will be searching, locating and arresting drunk drivers. There will be checkpoints throughout the city and more detailed patrol.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Columbus Forecast Updates

More 7 Day Forecast

Don't Miss