MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The number of traffic deaths during the Christmas holiday are up from last year.
According to the Georgia State Patrol's website, there were 685 crashes this year--that's 396 more than last year.
Officials are reporting 300 injuries and a total of 17 deaths across the state. Last year, there were only four fatalities during this period.
Lt. Bryan Hunter, with the Middle Georgia Traffic Enforcement Network, says it's important for drivers to stay alert as they return home from their holiday destinations.
"Take frequent breaks, especially if you're driving a long way," says Hunter. "Watch for blue lights, red lights and orange lights and move over for officers and DOT workers or firemen or whoever's on the side of the road working, and just be aware, wear your seatbelt and slow down."
Remember, law enforcement across the state is cracking down on impaired drivers this holiday season.
The annual campaign called 'Operation Zero Tolerance' runs through January 2nd.