Law enforcement agencies across Georgia have once again joined a nationwide crackdown against drunk driving for the July 4 holiday. According to CBS Atlanta, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety says that this widely-celebrated holiday means getting out on the roads is more dangerous. With this in mind, police agencies across Georgia have launched their annual Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, which runs through July 7.

This year the state has seen an increase in the number of traffic fatalities. As of June 20, there were 520 traffic-related deaths reported, a four percent increase from last year. Drunk driving, and drunk boating during the summer months, is a serious problem in Georgia. Getting into an alcohol-related accident is much more likely after a few drinks, and the unfortunate part is that some of the victims of alcohol-related accidents were not drinking at all.

When innocent bystanders are injured or killed by someone under the influence of alcohol, the penalties can be even harsher than a simple accident. Under state law, anyone under age 21 with a BAC of .02 percent or anyone 21 or older with a BAC of .08 percent is considered drunk. Georgia has an implied consent law, which means that if the driver refuses to take a chemical test they will be fined and their license will automatically be suspended. Jail time is also increased, depending on whether it’s a first, second or third offense.

Individuals who have been harmed by someone under the influence of alcohol may be able to get advice from a personal injury lawyer. This lawyer may be able to aid in seeking compensation for their medical bills and any lost wages due to the injury.

Source: CBS Atlanata, “Georgia to target drunk driving over Fourth of July”, Jill Parrish, June 21, 2013