With the increase in traffic accidents nationwide during the holiday season, law enforcement has stepped up its force to promote safety.
The number zero is the best Christmas present the Dothan Police Department has received this year; as in zero traffic deaths during their Christmas traveling season.
"This year was unique in that we had the new shopping areas open up, even with that increase in shopping activity in that area combined, with the fact that we had some rain and sleet during this particular period of time, we had very minimal amounts of traffic incidents," says Dothan Police Chief John Powell.
Chief Powell says media coverage of holiday driving safety, additional patrols, and more cautious drivers led to the impressive numbers.
In all, he cited two DUI arrests, 44 traffic incidents, and only one serious car accident from December 21st through the 26th.
Local and state officials now shift their attention to promoting a safe New Year’s holiday, from the 28th of December through the second day of the New Year.
"Reconsider whether you do have a designated driver; these are accidents that are preventable. We know it. We ask everyone out there to go into this New Year happy, safe, and alcohol free," says Alabama Governor, Bob Riley.
Chief Powell says locally, there will be no tolerance for drinking and driving Offenders will be charged and processed at the city jail.
He urges citizens to continue safe driving habits. "It's very, very exciting for me to stand before our public, our community and tell them we did not have any loss of life because of traffic accidents,” he says. “Hopefully, I'll be able to come back after the 1st of the year and tell you the same thing again.”
According to the Department of Public Safety, 756 traffic deaths have been recorded in Alabama, so far this year. That is down 61 deaths from the same time frame last year, and is the lowest total in four years.