People throughout Georgia will be watching their calendars and clocks this week, eagerly counting down the days and the hours to Labor Day weekend. For some, this upcoming long holiday break will mean a much-anticipated trip to visit family or friends, while for others it will simply mean relaxing in the comfort of their own homes.
Regardless of whatever people have planned for Labor Day, state officials are already warning them to proceed with caution if they plan to consume alcohol. That's because law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia State Patrol, will be out in full force on the roads and highways looking to make drunk driving arrests.
Indeed, from 6 p.m. on Friday, September 2, through midnight on Labor Day, state troopers, police officers and sheriff's deputies across the Peach State will conduct the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, which is aimed squarely at combating drunk driving.
In case you question the resolve of state officials, consider that GSP troopers made 316 arrests for driving under the influence during last year's campaign.
Consider also that state law calls for some incredibly strict penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence.
For instance, those convicted of first-offense DUI, meaning their blood alcohol content was .08 or greater, could face the following:
- Up to 12 months in jail
- A fine of anywhere from $300 to $1,000
- At least 40 hours of community service
- A license suspension up to 12 months long and a license reinstatement fee
What all of this means is that those who plan to consume alcohol over the upcoming weekend must exercise caution, whether naming a designated driver before going out, keeping the number of a taxi company handy or utilizing a ride-sharing service.
However, in the event they mistakenly get behind the wheel after having one drink too many and are placed under arrest, they should strongly consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can protect their rights as soon as possible