SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – One of the safest ways to enjoy fireworks is by leaving it up to the pros and their displays.
However, getting there and arriving home safely is a different story.
“We want to get that person off the road, because if we don’t somewhere up the road there’s going to be an accident,” Chief David Lyons, with the Garden City Police Department, said.
Nearly 150,000 people live in Savannah and more than half of them are drivers. When you add tourists to the mix it makes Savannah and Chatham County roads even more dangerous, especially on a holiday.
“People think, well this is a great time to go to the beach and get drunken up,” Lyons said. “Have a barbeque and get drunken up. Go to see the fireworks and drink too much beer.”
Police said they get their fair share of calls about people driving aggressively or erratically on the roads.
“We respond to those things,” Lyons said. “We get calls all the time that a caller reported aggressive driving on a certain roadway and we go look for that person.”
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2007 and 2011 exactly 40% of all highway deaths during 4 of July weekend were caused by drunk driving.
Police want to lower that percentage, but they need your help.
“If they see something say something,” Lyons said. “Everybody’s got a cell phone now. If you see a driver going down the road just weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, that’s driving erratically call 911.”
And get as much information on the car as you can.
“Color, make/model of the car, specifically a license plate number,” Lyons said. “Even a partial license plate number. This happened at mile marker such and such or North of mile marker so and so and that will give us something to go on.”
Not only will Garden City Police be on the lookout, but so will other agencies.
“The state patrol will be out in force,” Lyons said. “Most of the agencies around us will be out in force and we’re looking for drunk drivers.”
As a reminder, if you get a DUI and are a first-time offender you will have the option to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car. That law went into effect here in Georgia the first of July.