Operation Zero Tolerance

NEWS RELEASE

GEORGIA OFFICERS TO TARGET IMPAIRED DRIVERS

(ATLANTA) - Georgia law enforcement officers will target impaired drivers during the upcoming wave of Operation Zero Tolerance. The campaign runs from Friday, December 19 until midnight Sunday, January 4, 2004.

Operation Zero Tolerance is Georgias high visibility enforcement program that targets impaired drivers through concentrated patrols and sobriety checkpoints. During this years enforcement campaign, police officers, sheriffs deputies and state troopers will work together to protect everyone from impaired drivers during this busy time of the year. The Georgia campaign is part of the national You Drink & Drive. You Lose program.

Robert F. Dallas, Director of the Governors Office of Highway Safety, said driving while impaired can be expensive. "When it comes to drinking and driving...you can't afford it, Director Dallas said. There is no celebration when you are arrested for impaired driving. The cost is too high".

"If you drink and drive...you WILL lose," Dallas emphasized. Violators can lose their licenses, time from their jobs, and lose money in high fines and court costs as well as possibly face imprisonment for repeat offenses, assault and vehicular homicide.

Each year in Georgia more than 500 people are killed in crashes where alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two are involved. Nationally, fatalities in alcohol-related crashes have not significantly improved in the last three years after a decade of gradual success. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that alcohol-related fatalities rose slightly from 17,400 in 2001 to 17,419 in 2002. An estimated 258,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes.

Director Dallas encourages careful planning for holiday activities. If you plan to drive, dont drink, he said. Choose a designated driver and if you see a suspected impaired driver, notify law enforcement.

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Media Contact for Operation Zero Tolerance:

Ricky Rich, Governors Office of Highway Safety 404-656-6996