Drunk driving crashes are preventable tragedies that rob families of loved ones and change the lives of survivors forever. Fortunately, the men and women in Georgia law enforcement have played a major role in protecting motorists throughout our state.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety provided the Georgia Department of Public Safety with a grant of more than $2 million to protect motorists on our roads throughout 2016. This grant will help fund the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) program and Georgia State Patrol’s Nighthawks DUI Task Force. The Nighthawks taskforce sets up DUI checkpoints and increases patrols, and HEAT helps bring public awareness to drunk and aggressive driving. As part of the HEAT campaign, drunk drivers can also lose their ability to drive under Georgia’s Administrative License Suspension (ALS) program.
Georgia also utilized Operation Zero Tolerance during the holidays to prevent drunk driving crashes. Operation Zero Tolerance expands DUI checkpoints and patrols with the intent of arresting drunk drivers.
Why We Must Discuss the Human Cost of Intoxicated Driving
While it is important to discuss the legal ramifications of drunk driving crashes and state law enforcement programs, it is also necessary to observe the human costs associated with these tragedies. Many of us have heard of Ethan Couch, the “affluenza teenager” recently apprehended in Mexico after fleeing the United States.
Couch’s decision to drive drunk cost four people their lives and left one of his victims with a traumatic brain injury. The surviving victim is completely paralyzed, only able to communicate by blinking. People do not deserve to have their lives ruined. Families should never receive a knock at the door or late night phone call from solemn police officers with grim news.
There is no excuse to drink and drive, and we wish Georgia law enforcement the best of luck in their efforts to save lives!