DUI patrols to increase during holidays | TahoeDailyTribune.com

DUI patrols to increase during holidays

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Both California and Nevada will crack down on drunken driving this holiday season, according to statements from law enforcement agencies this week.

Starting at 8 p.m. on Dec. 18, South Lake Tahoe Police will conduct DUI checkpoints along Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Pioneer Trial, Sgt. Shannon Laney announced in a statement. The checkpoints will continue until 2 a.m. on Dec. 19, Laney said.

The checkpoints are part of a statewide campaign to combat drunken driving during the holiday season.

In 2007, alcohol-related fatalities declined in California for the first time since 1998, dropping 8.3 percent, Laney said.

“California has worked very hard over the past five years to reverse the trend of increasing alcohol-related traffic fatalities,” said Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher J. Murphy in the statement. “Through an aggressive combination of various anti-DUI operations, including sobriety checkpoints, together with the public calling 911 when they see a drunk driver, we’re getting these dangerous drivers off the road.”

Between Dec. 14 and Jan. 3 additional Nevada law enforcement officers will also hit the streets to target drunken drivers, said Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Chuck Allen in a statement.

In 2008, there were 324 fatalities on Nevada roadways, Allen said. Thirty-nine percent involved alcohol. One of every 94 licensed drivers in Nevada were arrested for driving under the influence last year, Allen said.

“We’re not trying to spoil anyone’s party, we’re just reminding people to be responsible and plan ahead so that everyone is safe on the roads this holiday season” says Valerie Evans, manager of the Joining Forces program, which coordinates DUI enforcement in Nevada.

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