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Police to target drunk drivers

With the holiday season upon us, the Culpeper Police Department plans to target drunken drivers in an effort to make this holiday season safe.

Police will put additional officers on the street specifically looking for drunken drivers. The grant-funded DUI patrols will run from Dec. 12 through Jan. 1, 2013.

“We have a simple message,” said Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins, “If you plan to drink, don’t get behind the wheel.
“We want everyone to enjoy the holidays, but we hope everyone will enjoy them safely.”
Driving drunk not only endangers the drunk driver but also the motoring public.

In 2011, Culpeper County reported 29 alcohol-related crashes, with no fatalities. That was a decrease of 11 alcohol-related accidents investigated from the year before. In 2009, one of the deadliest years in Culpeper for alcohol-related accidents, law enforcement investigated 57 such accidents resulting in four deaths.

“The holiday season can prove to be the deadliest and most dangerous due to drunk driving,” said Chief Jenkins. “Taking a risk on having 2012 end with an alcohol-related arrest, injury or death simply isn’t worth it.”

Police offer some easy tips to follow for a safe holiday season:
 Plan a safe way homebefore the festivities begin;
 Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;
 If impaired, call a cab, a sober friend or family member to pick you up;
 Report drunk drivers to law enforcement;
 And remember,Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. If you know someone who is impaired and about to drive, take their keys and help make arrangements to get them home.

Officials hope that stepped up enforcement and public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving has helped reduce the number of state-wide alcohol-related crashes by 29 percent from 2002 to 2011 and the number of alcohol-related fatalities by 35 percent during the same period.

“The last thing anyone wants is to become injured or killed by a drunk driver, who could have stayed off the road, said Chief Jenkins.”
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