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Saturday February 6th, 2016 10:43AM

Drive Sober Georgia app could save lives

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - New Year's Eve celebrants who find themselves celebrating a bit too much at bars or restaurants that serve alcohol in Atlanta, Savannah, or Gainesville might want to take a look at their drink coasters.

The comical little elf 'walking the line' pictured on that coaster could save them a lot of money, a lot of trouble, and may even save lives according to Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.Blackwood says the elf symbolizes a new way to keep 'buzzed' or drunk drivers off the road.

"The Governor's Office of Highway Safety has made available a bar coaster that has a QR code that can be scanned with a 'Smart Phone', either an Android or an 'I Phone', that will download an app called Drive Sober Georgia," Blackwood said in Gainesville Friday. "It will give them information on their particular area on how to get a ride home if they've had too much to drink. It has a little symbol on there, a little funny drawing, there's one that has an elf being asked to walk the line, they're funny bar coasters to catch people's eye."

Statewide, Budweiser and Bud Light are doing a program called 'Tow to Go' with AAA. They will tow a driver's car with that driver up to 10 miles for free. There are also cab companies offering rides and the information on how to get help is available by downloading the 'Drive Sober Georgia' app.

"We believe we've done everything but put the phone up to their ear," Blackwood said. "We're giving them information at the bar side and we believe more Georgians' lives will be saved this year because of this program."

The Drive Sober coasters are distributed and will be in place for New Year's and for December 30th and the 31st because the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta is expected to draw a lot of out of state motorists.

Blackwood says with the bar coaster app program there is no excuse for driving under the influence, but then there is no excuse at all for driving drunk.

"A DUI in Georgia can cost you upwards of $10,000 in your increased insurance, your fines, your court costs, and other related costs," Harris observed. "We want people to take that money and do something better with it besides pay it for court costs."
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