The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) will be on high visibility patrols on interstates and state roads during this year’s Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel periods in an attempt to thwart traffic crashes and encourage motorists to exercise safe driving habits. The Christmas travel period is 126-hours long, from 6 p.m. Fri., Dec. 21, until 11:59 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 26. The 102-hour New Year’s holiday period will begin at 6 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 28, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Tues., Jan. 1.

Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety said, “State troopers will be keeping a close eye out for motorists breaking state traffic laws and exercising bad driving habits that could potentially cause a fatal crash.”

Last year, the 2017 Christmas holiday travel period was 102-hours long. GSP investigated 554 crashes that resulted in 283 injuries and 11 fatalities. Troopers issued a total of 7,461 citations and 12,432 warnings, with 198 people arrested for driving impaired.

During the 2017 New Year’s holiday travel period, which was 78-hours long, GSP worked 370 wrecks that resulted in 205 injuries and five fatalities. In addition, troopers issued 6,542 citations, 10,680 warnings, and arrested 234 people for driving under the influence.

Troopers are cautioning drivers to plan for a sober designated driver if alcohol consumption will be part of your holiday celebrations. If you do not have a designated driver, call a taxi, rideshare, a friend, or family member to help you get home safely.

“This is a festive time of the year and we want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but we also want everyone to be safe out on our roads,” added the commissioner.

During the holiday period, an updated traffic fatality count will be published on the Department of Public Safety’s Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/ga_dps.

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