From staff reports
As the Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel periods approach, the Georgia State Patrol is reminding drivers to use extra caution when traveling throughout the state.
The Christmas travel period begins Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. and ends Christmas Day at midnight. The New Year’s holiday period begins New Year’s Eve at 6 p.m. and ends New Year’s Day at midnight.
Both holiday periods are 30 hours long.
Sgt. First Class Darrell Dunn, Commander of Post 33 Milledgeville, said state troopers will be on patrols looking to spot impaired drivers and people not using seat belts.
“Plan your trips carefully and allow plenty of time to reach your destinations,” Sergeant Dunn said. “Make sure everyone is buckled up and that children are properly restrained. Don’t text and drive, and obey the posted speed limit.”
Last year, Georgia troopers investigated 702 traffic crashes over the Christmas holiday period that resulted in 371 injuries and 11 fatalities.
During the New Year’s period, four people were killed. There were 694 crashes and 353 injuries reported. Each holiday period last year was 102 hours.
Statewide, law enforcement officers investigated a total 4,407 crashes that resulted in 1,476 injuries and 26 fatalities during the Christmas holiday period. Similarly, during the New Year’s holiday period 3,691 crashes that resulted in 1,164 injuries and seven fatalities were reported.
Troopers are cautioning drivers to plan for a sober designated driver if alcohol consumption will be part of the celebrations.
During last year’s Christmas holiday period, state troopers made 225 arrests for driving under the influence, and 352 people were arrested during the New Year’s holiday.
“This is a festive time of the year, and we want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but we also want everyone to be safe out on our roads,” added the Post Commander.
The Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel periods are also a mobilization period for Operation Zero Tolerance. Troopers will team up with law enforcement officials from across the state for high visibility enforcement patrols that target impaired drivers.
Contact DPS Public Information Office at (404) 624-7597 with any questions or concerns.