//VPD joining ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ DUI campaign

VPD joining ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ DUI campaign

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Valdosta Police Department joining Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI holiday enforcement campaign

The Valdosta Police Department and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are reminding drivers to make the right decision to not drink and drive because those that do not heed this warning may spend part of the holiday season sitting in a jail cell.

Valdosta Police Department is joining sheriff’s offices, police departments and the Georgia State Patrol to reduce crashes, deaths, and injuries during the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign from December 16 through January 1.

Law enforcement officers in Georgia have a zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving and Valdosta Police Department will not give warnings for any driver found behind the wheel with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher.

“There is nothing more difficult than having to tell someone that a family member has been killed in a drunk driving crash that was completely preventable,” Sergeant Bucky Griffin said. “We ask everyone to choose wisely by not getting behind the wheel when they have been drinking because those who make the wrong choice to drink and drive can expect to see blue lights in the rearview mirror.”

Even though the number of drunk driving deaths in the United States has been cut by a third over the last 30 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there 10,511 people killed in drunk driving crashes in the United States in 2018. That is one death every 50 minutes.

According to NHTSA, the number of alcohol-impaired traffic deaths in Georgia have risen by almost 35 percent over a five period from 2014-2018. There were 375 people killed in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes in Georgia in 2018 and 279 people died in drunk driving crashes in 2014. Alcohol is a factor in approximately one out of every four traffic deaths in Georgia.

“We want our law enforcement officers know they are making a difference and saving lives with every drunk driver they take off the road,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said. “It should never come to an arrest when all it takes to eliminate drunk driving deaths is for everyone to choose to pass the keys to a sober designated driver or make arrangements for a sober ride before the celebration begins.”

Valdosta Police Department , GOHS, and NHTSA offer the following tips to help stop drunk driving:

  1. Chose a non-drinking person to be the designated driver before going out.
  2. Do not let someone you know get behind the wheel if they have been drinking.
  3. Let friends know they can contact you for a sober ride when needed.
  4. Those hosting a party where alcohol is served should make sure guests leave with a sober driver.
  5. Always wear your seat belt because it is the best defense against impaired drivers.

“Before you start your holiday celebrations, please do your part in helping us keep our streets safe by making sure you have a designated driver” Chief Leslie Manahan.