The summer months usually see an upswing in DUI cases, as students are off from school and many people are staving off the heat with a cold one.
That's why police officers, sheriff's deputies, and state troopers across Georgia are launching a new program to combat drunk driving over the next few weeks, The Associated Press reports.
Operation Zero Tolerance begins this Friday and will run through July 4.
According to state officials, 298 people died in alcohol related accidents in Georgia in 2010. That's about a fourth of all the traffic deaths that occurred in the state that year.
Operation Zero Tolerance is aimed at cutting that number down. According to the operation's website, Georgia law enforcement officers will be targeting impaired drivers through concentrated patrols and a number of sobriety checkpoints.
Since DUI penalties can get pretty serious, here's a quick review of some of the finer points of DUI law:
- If you find yourself at one of the operation's DUI checkpoints, you may be asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test. Under Georgia law, any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state has given "implied consent" to a Breathalyzer, blood, or urine test if suspected of DUI. If you refuse to take the test, your license can be suspended for at least 12 months.
- A blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher will get you a DUI charge. However, alcohol isn't the only thing that can impair your driving abilities. Under Georgia's DUI law, a driver who's under the influence of drugs, even over-the-counter ones, can be charged with DUI if the drugs impair his driving abilities.
- It's illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your car. So when moving from spot to spot, remember to leave that half-empty beer behind.
Georgia law enforcement's Operation Zero Tolerance coincides with a national DUI crackdown that's taking place this summer called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Drive safe, Atlanta.