JC Police: Don’t let holidays end tragically: Buzzed driving is drunk driving

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The holidays are a wonderful time of year, filled with celebrations. But for the 775 families whose loved ones were killed during December 2010 in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, the joyous celebrations ended in disaster. 

That’s why the Johns Creek Police Department is joining with highway safety partners and law enforcement organizations across the country this month to remind people that during the holidays and throughout the year, drinking alcohol and driving do not mix and that “buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

“Drinking and driving is never a good combination, and it’s just not worth the risk,” said Lt. Jason Harper, who leads the JCPD’s Traffic Unit. “Driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle while intoxicated jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others on our roads. If you are going to drink, plan another way home before the celebration begins, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.” 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,885 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2010, and 31 percent (10,228) of those fatalities involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

The holiday season is particularly dangerous. During December 2010, 2,597 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes, and 775 of those were killed in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers.

“This tragic loss of life can be reduced if we get impaired drivers off our roadways,” said Harper. “That’s why we are working hard to remind everyone to never drink and drive.”

This holiday season, the JCPD is encouraging people to take three simple steps to ensure their holiday celebrations don’t end in tragedy. 

  • Plan ahead; be sure to designate a sober driver before the party begins.
  • If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Even one drink too many increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle. If you are impaired, find another way home. Use a taxi, or call a sober friend or family member.
  • Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life. 

“The holidays should be a time for celebration, not tragedy,” Harper said. “Please help us make Johns Creek’s roadways safe by never driving after drinking. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving, so never drink and drive.”