published Friday, December 27th, 2013

Georgia State Patrol to ramp up New Year's Eve monitoring

ATLANTA — The Georgia State Patrol promises to ramp up New Year's Eve patrols on the lookout for drunk drivers, and authorities are encouraging residents to plan ahead and avoid the dangers of impaired driving.

State government is distributing 50,000 coasters around Georgia's busiest bar districts.

The coasters will contain information on various local programs that will offer transportation for would-be drivers during New Year's Eve revelry. Officials also are highlighting a state smartphone application, called Drive Sober, that helps residents locate cab and tow companies.

The State Patrol's Nighthawks unit, meanwhile, will be out in full force, according to the agency.

There were 1,119 alcohol-related crashes during the 2012 holiday period from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. Those incidents resulted in 679 injuries and 20 fatalities.

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