PTC cops will target drunk drivers on holiday weekend

Drinking and driving never mix. That bit of wisdom will be evident in Peachtree City and across Georgia through the Labor Day holiday as police launch the end-of-summer Zero Tolerance DUI Campaign.

Peachtree City police spokesman Mark Brown said, “To crack down on impaired driving during the Labor Day weekend, law enforcement across the state, including the Peachtree City Police Dept., will be aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger by drinking and driving. In Georgia, that means launching the statewide Operation Zero Tolerance campaign in conjunction with Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. No matter where you drive in Georgia, if you’re over the limit, you’ll be under arrest.”

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that on average, one person died every 34 minutes during Labor Day weekend drunk driving crashes nationwide in 2012. In Georgia last year, there were 3,497 crashes from Friday, Aug. 30 through Monday, Sept. 2. Unfortunately, 22 people died in those crashes and another 1,161 were injured.

This year’s Labor Day travel period will last from Friday, Aug. 29 through Monday, Sept.1. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Operation Zero Tolerance enforcement campaigns will run from Aug. 15 to Sept.1.

NHTSA data also shows that 390 people lost their lives in traffic crashes during Labor Day weekend in 2012. A staggering 25 percent of those crashes involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more. That’s almost twice the legal .08 limit in all 50 states. In addition, approximately 41 percent of drivers killed in those crashes were impaired.

These crashes are also disproportionately occurring at night. Seventy six percent of all drunk driving fatalities over the 2012 Labor Day weekend occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.