The Governor's Office of Highway Safety joined forces with the Albany Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol on Thursday to warn residents that they will be stepping up their DUI enforcement for one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year.
GOHS Director Harris Blackwood says his office is making their rounds around Georgia to encourage all drivers to plan ahead and stay out of the driver's seat if they're partying.
APD Corporal Jon Segroves says his department will be highly visible in the area this weekend to ensure other drivers' safety. Segroves says the best thing a driver can do if they think they've had too much to drink is call a cab or friend.
Blackwood says even if drivers have only had one drink, it could be the one drink that puts them over the limit so plan ahead and don't chance it.
With 700 deaths in Georgia from 2006 to 2010 due to drunk driving during Saint Patty's Day weekend, the departments are working to get potentially harmful drivers off the roads.
GSP Post Commander Shawn Urquhart says every GSP officer will be working this weekend, looking for drunk drivers and other infractions as well.
Urquhart says in 2012, the number of Saint Patty's Day fatalities went up so its their job to make sure that doesn't happen again this year. Urquhart adds that officers feel they didn't do their job when that number goes up, so they're trying to keep the crashes to a minimum by arresting drivers over the legal limit.