State Traffic Enforcement Officers to Join OZT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             



(ATLANTA)—Georgia State Troopers along with officers from the Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance and Capitol Police divisions will join law enforcement officers from local police and sheriffs’ departments across Georgia for Operation Zero Tolerance, Georgia’s high visibility impaired driving enforcement program.  The July Fourth OZT campaign begins Friday, June 23 and ends on Sunday, July 9.

            Colonel Bill Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said DPS troopers and officers will team with local officers and deputies for concentrated patrols and roadchecks throughout the two-week period that includes the 102-hour long July Fourth holiday travel period.  “Sadly, 10 of the 24 people killed during the 2005 July Fourth holiday period died in a crash where an impaired driver was involved,” Colonel Hitchens said.  “Crashes of this type can be prevented if drivers will take the initiative to not drink and drive.”  He said troopers and officers will not hesitate to arrest an impaired driver and tow their vehicle.

            Bob Dallas, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said nearly half of all traffic fatalities across the nation over the July Fourth holiday period are alcohol-related.  “That’s why we’re working overtime with highway safety advocates and our law enforcement partners.”

            Operation Zero Tolerance enforcement officers will blanket Georgia’s roadways with high visibility sobriety checkpoints and concentrated OZT-patrols.  “The OZT message is simple,“ said GOHS Director Dallas.  “You drive impaired in Georgia, you WILL go to jail.  Informed drivers get the handshakes, impaired drivers get the handcuffs.   That’s Zero-Tolerance.

            July Fourth OZT is part of the GOHS One Hundred Days of Summer Heat mobilization that runs through the end of the Labor Day holiday travel period cracking down on the deadly consequences of speeders, drunk and aggressive drivers, and safety belt violators. 

            Colonel Hitchens and Director Dallas remind motorists to report suspected impaired drivers by either calling 9-1-1 or Star G-S-P (*477) on their cell phone.