In a post on December 28, we provided alternatives to driving under the influence over the New Year’s holiday season in metro-Atlanta. Each year, we are hopeful that Georgians will make smart decisions and designate a driver, call a taxi, or make other plans so intoxicated driving is not a temptation. Unfortunately, many Georgians chose to do so regardless of the alternatives available. Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol greatly increases the risk of causing an auto accident in Georgia. During the 2012 New Year’s holiday travel period, Georgia State Troopers made 321 arrests due to drivers operating vehicles under the influence. That’s 59 more DUI arrests made than during the same time period in 2011.
This New Year’s holiday travel period is a 102 hour time frame that begins at 6 P.M. on the last Friday of the year and ends at midnight on January 1. Each year, Georgia law enforcement agencies report the number of incidents investigated, injuries, and deaths as a result of traffic accidents during this travel period. This year, Georgia State Patrol officers responded to and investigated 585 automobile accidents during this time period, 289 more investigations than last year. A total of 266 Georgians were injured in traffic accidents this year, compared to 172 last year. Six lost their lives in traffic accidents over the 2012 New Year’s holiday travel period, which is one less death than in 2011. Three of the six fatal accidents were reported in Athens, Madison and Valdosta. The other three were reported and investigated by Cobb County Police, Perry Police and Macon Police.
The three fatalities reported in Athens, Madison and Valdosta were investigated by Georgia State Patrol. The first occurred on Sunday, December 30 at night in a single-vehicle accident in Lowndes County on Interstate 75. Investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in this auto accident. The second fatality occurred on Monday, December 31, at approximately 11:50 in the morning on Benton Road in Jackson County. Alcohol was not suspected in this incident, either. The third fatality over the New Year’s holiday traffic period occurred on Tuesday, January 1 in Greene County in a pedestrian accident around 1:10 A.M. This vehicle’s driver was charged with DUI. Each of these fatalities, as well as the three others over the New Year’s holiday, is unfortunate and our thoughts are with the families of the deceased. Throughout the state of Georgia last year, 1,929 traffic accidents were reported, including 716 injuries and 13 deaths. Unfortunately, many of these incidents were the fault of a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For this reason, Jones & Swanson is an avid supporter of DUI prevention around the state and nation.
One metro-Atlanta area that Jones & Swanson serves saw an improvement in the number of DUI arrests over this New Year’s holiday season. Cherokee County reports making 11 DUI arrests, which is one less than during the same time period in 2011. No accidents resulted in serious injuries in Cherokee County over the holiday season, which could be accredited to the lack of traffic on roads during this time. The county’s Operation Safe Ride program operated again this year, taking a hands-on effect in an effort to prevent residents from operating a vehicle under the influence. During the 2012 holiday season, the program provided 19 complimentary rides home on New Year’s Eve. This is the fifth year this program has been in effect.
The attorneys at Jones & Swanson represent clients in a variety of types of personal injury claims. The most common injury claim is that of metro-Atlanta auto accidents. The amount of travelers on Georgia roads on a daily basis is vast, which often leads to accidents as a result of carelessness, failure to abide by road laws, or inclement weather. Each Christmas and New Year’s, the amount of traffic increases, therefore increasing the number of auto accidents. When a driver or passenger is injured in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, they may be entitled to monetary compensation for their suffering. If you or someone you know have been injured in a Marietta auto accident, contact our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.