Houston & Peach

Georgia’s Zero Tolerance campaign kicks off Dec. 12

WARNER ROBINS -- Georgia law enforcement officers are expected to be out in force starting Friday in an effort to reduce the number of people killed and injured as a result of impaired driving.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is launching its Operation Zero Tolerance safety campaign that runs through the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday travel period.

In all, 161 people lost their lives on Georgia roadways during the 2013 holiday reporting period of Nov. 20 through Dec. 31, including 18 from crashes that involved impaired drivers, a news release stated. Another 13,142 people were injured in nearly 44,000 crashes.

Nationwide, 830 people were killed in crashes involving at least one intoxicated driver during the month of December 2012, the release stated. On average, 31 percent of all crash fatalities in the U.S. are alcohol related, but on Christmas Day in 2012, that number increased by 5 percent.

“This is why you will see more troopers, police officers and deputies in highly visible patrols during the holidays,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood said in the release. “It’s not just about getting drunk drivers off the road but also deterring them from ever getting behind the wheel.”

The legal blood alcohol limit is .08 in all 50 states.

For more information about the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org or call 404-656-6996.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.