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Highway patrol to crack down on drunk drivers this New Year's Eve

Highway patrol to crack down on drunk drivers this New Year's Eve

(WXIA) -- New Year's Eve is one of the deadliest drinking holidays of the year.

This year, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety is doing more to prevent alcohol-related crashes.

According to a release, law enforcement will distribute 50,000 drink coasters in some of the state's busiest bar districts. The coasters will contain a QR code to guide patrons to a directory of services that will help them get home safely if they've had too much to drink.

THe GOHS also offers a smartphone app that connects users to cab and tow companies. Check out the Drive Sober app.

Last year, the state saw 1,119 drunk driving crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. Nearly 700 people were injured in those wrecks, while 20 died.

Atlanta-area unemployment dips to 7.0 percent

Atlanta-area unemployment dips to 7.0 percent

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 7.0 percent in November.

That's down seven-tenths of a percentage point from October's 7.7 percent.

Fayette County's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in November.

The Georgia Department of Labor said local employers added 14,300 jobs last month in such industries as trade, transportation and warehousing; government; leisure and hospitality; and education and health care.

The number of unemployed Atlanta-are residents dropped fron 190,266, considerably down from October's 208,877 and last November's 223,686.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate at 5.1. The highest was 10.0 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

One of two stolen dogs found, second still missing

PEACHTREE CITY, GA - A Peachtree City couple, whose two family pets were stolen from their pickup in Norcross last Saturday night, have been reunited with one of them.

Their rescue dog, a miniature poodle named Lulu, was found wandering the parking lot of a Home Depot in Buford.

On Friday owner Jim Wingo told 11Alive News Lulu was apparently sold after she was stolen, but escaped from her new owner and was found by a man in the store parking lot.

The man who found her saw the news story about the stolen dogs on TV and called the reward number.


Lulu was wearing a holiday costume when recovered.

Wingo and his wife, Kim, are still offering a $1,500 reward for the other stolen dog, a black poodle named Layla.

A holiday gift from GDOT: No construction until Jan.

A holiday gift from GDOT: No construction until Jan.

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended road construction through the beginning of 2014.

GDOT announced Thursday that construction will stop at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20 and resume at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2.

Although there will be no crews on major highways, drivers should still expect heavy delays near malls and popular shopping centers as Christmas approaches.

Dog Owners Offer Big Reward for Missing Family Pets

PEACHTREE CITY, GA - "Since Saturday we couldn't sleep because we just miss 'em very much," Kim Wingo told 11 Alive News.

She and husband Jim both miss the family pets that someone stole from their pickup last Saturday evening.

It happened outside the Hibachi Grill and Buffet in Norcross where they were celebrating a nephew's college graduation.

When they returned to their truck they found the front passenger window smashed, possibly by a screwdriver that left its marks around the door seal.

Although there were other valuables in the pickup, the only things missing were their two miniature poodles, Lulu, a rescue dog they'd only had a few months, and Layla, who they'd had 4 years.

"There were plenty of things in the truck they could have taken, clothes, cash, many things in the truck that they could have taken, but they only took the dogs," Jim said.

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

Grocery is the #1 holiday purchase! Research shows where consumers are spending this holiday season

With all the hype and Black Friday campouts at Best Buys and Toys R Us, you'd guess that the majority of holiday shopping budgets go to purchases like electronics, toys and clothing. But according to new research, the biggest share what comes out of your holiday wallet actually goes to ... groceries and restaurants.

New data from Card-Linked Marketing leader Cardlytics -- collected from millions of U.S. households over the past two years -- shows what consumers actually spend their money on during the holiday season.  When it comes to holiday shopping Americans are spending 24% of their budget on groceries followed by restaurants and apparel.  Toy purchases are actually at the bottom of the list.

The Top 10 Share of Wallet (see link/attached for graphics and pie charts for 2011 and 2012 holiday spending):

1. Groceries - 24%

Ga. 400 roadwork continues, most other highways clear

Ga. 400 roadwork continues, most other highways clear

ATLANTA -- Crews will continue working on the Georgia 400/Interstate 85 interchange in Atlanta this weekend.

Georgia Department of Transportation engineer Shun Pringle said one lane in each direction will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily on Ga. 400 between I-85 and Peachtree Road. Drivers will also see delays on Cheshire Bridge Road, Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Buford-Spring Connector.

But it all depends on the weather.

"With some rain expected on Saturday, I'm not sure how much (contractors) will be able to accomplish," Pringle said in a statement.

Sweeping, bridge and utility work, and drain cleaning will occur on I-20, I-75, I-85, I-285 and I-575 throughout the weekend. All projects will be completed overnight and will result in occasional closures.

Visit dot.ga.gov for a full list of road projects in your area.