Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Drunken drivers a big problem on holiday

  • Follow Crime & courts

Thanksgiving typically doesn’t top the list in Augusta as the worst holiday for drinking and driving, but nationwide it’s No. 2.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drinking violations will jump 54 percent on Thanksgiving Day, second only to the New Year’s holiday, which sees a 62 percent increase.

New Year’s also tops the list for Augusta, but it’s typically followed by July Fourth or Memorial Day, depending on which day the holidays fall on.

Although not in the top three, Thanksgiving remains a problem for officers.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said Thanksgiving’s permanent position on Thursday contributes to the higher numbers.

“It’s such a long holiday period,” he said. “It starts on Wednesday and usually goes until Sunday.”

More travelers only add to potential problems.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper 1st Class Matthew MacDonald said most troopers spend their time moving from one crash to another.

“With so many cars on the road, it’s harder to focus on the impaired drivers,” he said. “On the interstates it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic. When you have that it’s harder to see the violations.”

On average, more than a dozen people die and a thousand are injured over the Thanksgiving holiday in Georgia, according to the Department of Transportation.

“It’s a shame,” Gay said, because driving under the influence is easily avoidable on this holiday.

On Thanksgiving, unlike other holidays, people are generally drinking at homes, where they could easily stay over or find a designated driver, police said.

“We just ask that they stay there,” Gay said.

MacDonald said troopers have seen wrecks in which entire families were lost because they drank together and then drove together.

Troopers and deputies across the Augusta area plan to be out in full force.

Comments (0) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 11/20/12 - 05:46 pm
0
0
Drunk drivers are potential murderers everyday
Unpublished

Get over the glorification of alcohol. It is a drug used by most drunks to make life tolerable. Drunkenness has noting to do with the great taste of alcohol, wine or beer. It just numbs the brain for a while. Be honest with yourself. It is destructive behavior that puts innocent people at risk. But, all of the politicians drink so we will continue with the carnage.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Fire closes Broad Street

Several downtown streets are closed as firefighters continue to put out a fire that began early this morning in a Broad Street building.
Search Augusta jobs