Highway Safety app to keep drunk drivers off roads

A new smartphone application from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has received a positive response from the public, according to the public information officer for the Office of Highway Safety.

The “Drive Sober GA” app debuted last week with almost 1,000 downloads on the Android market, an influential amount, said Katie Fallon.

The app was open for the New Year’s holiday, and it will be available once more on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, she said.

Fallon said the app allows Georgia motorists to find a free, “sober ride” in their area. “To know that 1,000 people will have an alternative to drinking and driving at their fingertips is great news in Georgia,” added Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

He said this is the first time the Office of Highway Safety has created a product for the Android market. “I have had parents of college students tell me that their children have downloaded the app as a precaution,” said Blackwood. “That’s why we have it available.”

Fallon said the app is also available for iPhone users. It was created, she said, because deaths due to impaired drivers are still an issue in the state, although the number of such deaths has been reduced by 11 percent in the state, since 2010.

The Office of Highway Safety consulted with safety partners across Georgia to implement a list of free, sober ride programs for the app, to ensure that impaired motorists can get home safely, Fallon added.

“We know that people are attached to their cell phones these days,” continued Blackwood. “So, we made it as easy as possible, by putting a free, sober ride in the palm of their hands.”

He said people should be reminded that, although the app is easily available on their phones, it should not be used while driving.

Fallon said the app lets people have mobile access to organizations, such as AAA’s Tow to Go program, which provides free rides and a tow home for impaired drivers.

The app is part of the state’s annual “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” campaign to lower the numbers of accidents caused by impaired driving.

Motorists, who decide to drive while impaired, and are pulled over and get ticketed for driving under the influence (DUI), will be arrested and taken to jail, said Fallon.

For more information about the Drive Sober Georgia app, visit: www.drivesobergeorgia.com.