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If college football fans think a ticket to Monday's College Football Playoff national championship game is expensive, they won't believe what it will cost if they are arrested for a DUI.

A person charged with DUI in Georgia could pay more than $10,000 in fines, court costs, legal bills, higher insurance premiums and towing and impound fees.

Law enforcement officers in the state will maintain their year-round zero-tolerance policy during the championship game weekend by taking all impaired drivers they find on the road to jail.

The Georgia State Patrol, local law enforcement officers and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety urge fans attending the game or watching at restaurants, sports bars, and private parties to plan now for a sober ride if they are going to drink alcohol.

"We know alcohol is big part of tailgating in football, and that is understandable, but do so responsibly," Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Colonel Mark McDonough said.  "Plan ahead for a ride with a designated driver or ride service and keep the celebration out from behind the wheel of the car." 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is a factor in one out of every four traffic deaths in Georgia.  There were 368 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in Georgia in 2016, which is a 32% percent increase from 2014 when there were 279 alcohol-impaired driving deaths.

While all attention is on Monday night's game between Georgia and Alabama, there are a number of events and concerts that will attract many people to downtown Atlanta this weekend.

"A Southeastern Conference championship, a Rose Bowl title and a national championship game berth have already made this a great season for Georgia Bulldog fans," Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety said.  "However, we don't want anyone to lose their life or lose a family member or friend because someone made the foolish decision to drink and drive."
 
The Governor's Office of Highway Safety reminds everyone a sober ride anywhere in Georgia can be located using the free Drive Sober, Georgia app.   The app provides a list of cab companies in cities around Georgia and will also dial the number.

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