Statewide DUI crackdown begins this weekend

Just in time for this weekend's revelry, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety on Friday announced the start of an end-of-summer "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" zero tolerance crackdown on drunk driving.

"The statewide impaired driving crackdown will include a high-visibility enforcement campaign to curb alcohol impaired driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend," according to the announcement.

In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in crashes involving an impaired driver, the Highway Safety office said. That year, Georgia had 298 alcohol-related highway fatalities, one-quarter of all traffic deaths.

GOHS Director Harris Blackwood said police officers, deputies and state troopers around the state will be "aggressively" looking to arrest impaired drivers.

"We know campaigns like this help reduce drunk driving crashes by as much as 20 percent, so we're using Labor Day to reinforce the zero tolerance policy that exists in Georgia 365 days a year," Blackwood said in a prepared statement.

Drivers also should be alert to scheduled highway construction, reports AM-750/95.5FM News/Talk WSB, which will be issuing live traffic updates all weekend.

Metro Atlanta motorists can expect to see a continuing resurfacing project at the top of the Perimeter, on westbound I-285 (the Outer Loop) from Ashford-Dunwoody to Paces Ferry roads. The two left lanes will be affected from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Construction also is planned for the left lane of southbound Ga. 400 at Sidney Marcus Boulevard from 9 a.m. to noon each day. And in Atlanta, the southbound Buford-Spring Connector is to be resurfaced from Monroe Drive to Peachtree and Spring streets. One lane of the road and some of it ramps could be blocked during the weekend.

All construction is weather permitting and subject to change.

Also, at about 8 a.m. Sunday, Cobb County police and state Department of Transportation HERO units plan to temporarily close eastbound I-285 near the Chattahoochee River in the Smyrna-Sandy Springs area to reconstruct a Thursday afternoon accident that left one person dead.

The Braves play the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field this weekend, with games at 7:35 p.m. Friday, 7:10 p.m. Saturday and 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Drivers can expect delays near the ballpark on the Downtown Connector (I-75/85) and on surface streets before and after the games.

The Severe Weather Team 2 forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-80s Saturday and Sunday, with a 30-percent chance of rain both days.

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