PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

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Authorities cracking down on drunk driving during holiday

By From page A3 | August 30, 2013

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Transportation and CHP are banding together to crack down on driving as summer comes to a close in their “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

“As summer ends and motorists hit the road for one last summer holiday, local law enforcement personnel across the nation will be out on the front lines in the battle against drunk driving,” a press release stated. “It is a war well worth fighting. Drunk driving continues to be one of the most deadly and harmful crimes in America today. Each year, drunk drivers and motorcycle riders are involved in crashes that take the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.”

The campaign started Friday, Aug. 16 and will end Sept. 2, the Labor Day holiday. In 2011, the press release notes, 138 people were killed in crashes involving blood alcohol levels over the legal limit. Of those, 44 percent killed were between 18 and 34 years old. The vast majority occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.

“Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make California’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period,” said Director Chris Murphy from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

The multiple law enforcement agencies’ goal is simple: “Be visible, be vigilant and let local motorists know that if they drive drunk, they will be caught and they will be arrested.”

Driving drunk could result in jail time, loss of a driver’s license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, loss of work time and potentially losing one’s job, a press release stated.

Instead, plan ahead, having a safe way to get home before starting any Labor Day festivities. Always designate a sober driver before drinking; otherwise, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation. If you know someone who is about to drive while drunk, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get home safely. If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.

For more information on the program, visit trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

Cole Mayer

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