Valdosta Daily Times

July 1, 2013

July 4: Freedom and responsibility

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — With the Fourth of July on Thursday, this will be a long weekend for many people. That’s more than four days of free time, and a whole lot of time for fun, family, and friends for a long Fourth.

The Georgia State Patrol also considers the Independence Day weekend as running from July 4-7. But, as the GSP declaring a timeline suggests, it is also a period when people could face many hazards.

During this period, GSP troopers will team with law-enforcement agencies across the state for Operation Zero Tolerance which will use concentrated patrols and roadchecks looking for impaired drivers on state roads during the holiday period.

“Troopers and officers will not hesitate to arrest an impaired driver and tow their vehicle,” said Col. Mark W. McDonough, Georgia Department of Public Safety commissioner. “If you see a driver that you suspect is impaired, notify law enforcement.”

Fireworks are another concern of the Fourth. Georgians have long celebrated Independence Day with firecrackers, bottle rockets and other fireworks, even when most of these items were illegal in the state.

With sparklers and non-explosive fireworks legal in Georgia, users should remember to use caution while handling these items.

With freedom comes responsibility. Whether that responsibility is the duties of citizens of a free nation or as folks with a little extra free time for a holiday, we should do all within our power to have a happy and safe Fourth.