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Take a sober ride to go this holiday season in Georgia

There is nothing wrong with drinking some wine at a company holiday dinner or celebrating the upcoming end of the semester with friends at your local Athens bar, just as long as Georgia residents and students remember to drink responsibly and to not get behind the wheel of a vehicle if they have had one too many alcoholic beverages.

In order to prevent drunk driving accidents and DUI arrests from putting a damper on the holiday spirit, TEAM Georgia launched its 2011 Safe Holiday Tow to Go campaign on Dec. 1. TEAM Georgia is a nonprofit organization that offers safe and sober transportation services for partygoers during the holidays and other seasonal events in Atlanta and throughout the entire state of Georgia.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, DUI arrests have been increasing over the last few years. During 2008, the Georgia State Patrol reported 11,812 DUI arrests. In 2009, more than 14,600 DUI arrests were made. Additionally, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) reported that impaired drivers have contributed to causing one out of every three fatal crashes over the past ten years in the state.

These statistics not only highlight the prevalence of drunk driving in the state of Georgia, but the information also serves as a wake-up call to those who have gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired. The chances of getting caught by police and the chances of causing an accident that could harm or kill someone else are high.

In an effort to maintain safer roads for all this holiday season, TEAM Georgia has been providing residents with tips on how to celebrate safely as well as reminding individuals about the legal consequences of drinking and driving. Participating bars and restaurants are even offering free non-alcoholic drinks to sober drivers. For those who may have had too much to drink, TEAM Georgia will offer partygoers a free ride home.

Source: 11 Alive, "TEAM Georgia launches 2011 Safe Holiday and Tow to Go Campaign," Michael King, Dec. 1, 2011