State to focus on drunk drivers during holiday enforcement

Operation Zero Tolerance accompanying national DUI campaign through New Year’s

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(ATLANTA) – Operation Zero Tolerance begins on Dec. 12 and that means increased patrols and high visibility enforcement in Georgia. During this DUI enforcement campaign and every day, if you’re over the limit, you’ll be under arrest. No warnings. No excuses.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is launching its annual zero tolerance campaign in conjunction with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over initiative to remind all motorists that no matter where they go, impaired driving will not be tolerated. The legal blood alcohol limit is .08 in all 50 states so even if holiday travels take motorists over the state line, drunk drivers will spend the end of 2014 behind bars.

During the holiday period last year (Nov. 20 – Dec. 31), there were nearly 44,000 crashes that resulted in 13,142 injuries and 160 fatalities in Georgia. 18 people lost their lives to impaired drivers. While Georgia enforces its DUI laws year-round, law enforcement across the state will be stepping up enforcement during the holiday season, one of the most dangerous times to travel on Georgia roads.

“Impaired driving crashes and fatalities are completely avoidable,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “It’s that simple. Arrange for a designated driver before your festivities begin or offer to be the sober driver for your friends and family. I want everyone to be able to ring in 2015 with their loved ones.”

Drunk driving isn’t just a problem in Georgia. During the month of December in 2012, 830 people nationwide were killed in crashes involving at least one intoxicated driver. On average, 31 percent of all crash fatalities in America are alcohol-related, but on Christmas Day in 2012, that number increased to 36 percent.

“This is why you will see more troopers, police officers and deputies in highly visible patrols during the holidays,” Blackwood said. “It’s not just about getting drunk drivers off the road, but also deterring them from ever getting behind the wheel.”

To learn more about impaired driving safety and consequences as well as the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, which will last through New Year’s Day, visitwww.gahighwaysafety.org or call 404-656-6996.

 

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VFD Responds to House Fire on Houston Avenue, No Injuries Reported

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The Valdosta Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 1904 Houston Avenue at approximately 7:30 a.m., on Tuesday, Dec. 9. Fire investigators have determined that the cause of the fire was electrical.

Upon arrival, fire personnel reported heavy smoke conditions coming from the eaves of the structure.  The residents said that they were alerted by a smoke detector and quickly exited the residence. VFD firefighters conducted primary and secondary searches to confirm all residents were safely out of the residence and were also able to safely rescue the family’s dog from the home.  VFD firefighters had the fire under control by 7:54 a.m.

No family members were injured; however, the fire, which was mostly contained to the attic, resulted in an estimated $30,000 in damages.  The family of five is being cared for by the American Red Cross.

For more information, contact VFD Chief Freddie Broome at (229) 333-1835.

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Suspicious package NOT dangerous

 A suspicious package found at Perimeter Self Storage has been deemed not dangerous.. traffic begins flowing normally.

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The area around a self storage business on Perimeter has been blocked off by Valdosta Police.  The GBI bomb disposal unit has been called in to help identify a suspicious package that was discovered there at around 10:30 this morning . This is a breaking and developing story.

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