Labor Day Safety Tips from The Law Offices of Richard Lawson
In an effort to increase DUI patrols and other traffic violations, Georgia law enforcement agencies are having DUI checkpoints in out-of-the-way spots along highways over the long Labor Day holiday.
We know, we know, it's the unofficial end of summer! The time to get in your last trips to Georgia's beautiful lakes, beaches, and anywhere else you want to go. However, drinking and driving shouldn't be part of your Labor Day plans.
Last Labor Day, Georgia had fifteen traffic deaths and 1,218 injuries that were the result of 3,706 automobile crashes. The good news is that number decreased from 2015. The bad news is that any life lost is one too many.
Unfortunately, DUI is a problem that exists all year and takes the lives of innocent victims and impaired drivers alike.
Just know, if you choose to drink and drive, you will go to jail. Georgia enforces Operation Zero Tolerance all year but also has increased enforcement periods during holidays or peak travel season when DUIs are more prevalent, and summer traffic is at its highest.
Law enforcement agencies are cracking down on those who make the unfortunate decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. Labor Day weekend is Georgia's second deadliest holiday. Statistics shows that one in three traffic-related deaths in Georgia is due to alcohol. Drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more are eleven times more likely to die in a car crash than if they were sober.
Also, keep in mind that alcohol is only one of the dangers on the road this holiday weekend. Always remember to buckle up and control your speed. Seat belt use is now mandatory for all vehicles, even pickup trucks. Even pickup truck passengers must wear their seat belt or risk getting ticketed.
Last year, Georgia law enforcement made 517 DUI and drug-related DUI arrests; an increase of 15% over the same period back in 2008.
Fourteen checkpoints have been planned for the holiday weekend, as well as extra patrols to specifically target drunk drivers.
Here are a few tips to stay safe this weekend:
- When planning your celebrations/festivities, always remember to include a safe way to get home.
- Choose a designated driver; this does not mean the driver who has had the least amount to drink. Instead, it should be someone who agrees to abstain from alcohol or drugs entirely for the night.
- Keep numbers of taxi services and sober ride programs. MARTA is also available for those in Metro Atlanta.
- If you are driving and happen to see someone you suspect is DUI, contact law enforcement by calling 511.
If you are hosting Labor Day celebration, here are some responsible party host tips:
- Have designated drivers at your party who can make sure guests arrive home safely.
- Plan a way to get guests' car keys by preparing a basket or bowl where they can leave them. Put it in a place where only you can retrieve them. That way, you can at least see if someone is okay to drive.
- Establish a cab fare fund so that cash is readily available. If you cannot afford to do so, ask guests to pitch in a couple bucks.
- Have cab numbers and access to Uber handy.
- Make sure to provide non-alcoholic beverages as well for those who do not drink or who are designated drivers.
- Be responsible; plan to be a sober host. Limiting your own alcohol consumption will give you the ability to judge if one of your guests is sober enough to drive home.
- Do not serve alcohol to minors.
- Do not force any of your guests to drink alcohol.
- Always serve food with alcohol; food helps counter alcohol's effects.
- Stop serving at least one hour before the party is over. Serve coffee, tea, sodas, and other non-alcoholic beverages at the end of the night. You are the host of the party, and you are responsible for helping make sure everyone gets home safely.
The Law Offices of Richard Lawson wishes everyone a safe and happy Labor Day holiday weekend. However, if you have been arrested for DUI, contact us right away. We are available to speak with you about your case 24 hours a day, seven days a week and holidays, too. Our consultation is free, so call now.