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December 10 • 10:53 PM
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Expect stepped up patrols on Tuesday


Police target drunk drivers during holiday



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Almont Police Officer Andrew Martin demonstrates PBT on volunteer.
January 02, 2008
TRI-CITY AREA — Local police agencies are again reminding motorists to consider the consequences of driving drunk, before they get behind the wheel on New Year's Eve.

Michigan State Police, Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies and local police departments are warning of increased enforcement over the holiday weekend in an effort to keep drunk drivers off area roads.

In Almont, Police Chief Pat Nael says his department will employ additional patrols to ensure the public safety.

"We're going to have two extra patrol cars out on the roads," says Nael. "We'll have good coverage in both the village and township.

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"People need to realize the cost of getting caught drinking and driving," he says. "There are legal and court costs and the fact that insurance costs will rise considerably. And it stays on your record for a long time."

Nael says he continues to be surprised at the number of people who make the decision to drink and drive—regardless of the consequences. He stresses that those who are sober or have been drinking less must share some of the responsibility.

"For all the years I've been doing this on the holidays," says Nael, "it never ceases to amaze me that some people will choose to drink and drive, even when the person sitting next to them is sober. If you've been drinking, always be willing to accept a ride from someone who has not been."

Based on statistics from The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), 10 people died on Michigan's highways during the Christmas and New Year's holiday last year.

"We're putting drunk drivers on notice that extra patrols will be out across the state," said OHSP Director Michael L. Prince. "We are serious about drunk driving enforcement. You will be stopped and you will go to jail. No exceptions or excuses."

One of the best ways to minimize injuries and fatalities on New Year's Eve, say police, is to pass one's keys over to a designated sober driver.

The following tips can help ensure a safe holiday celebration, while sparing motorists of the potential costs of attorney's fees, court costs, fines, alcohol rehabilitation classes and the humiliation associated with drinking and driving.

•Designate a sober driver before going out.

•If you have been drinking, call a taxi or a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.

•If a friend is about to drive impaired, take his/her keys and make other arrangements for a ride home.

•If you see someone driving drunk, promptly report them to law enforcement.

For a list of planned patrol dates, times and locations, visit the OHSP website at www.micigan.gov/ohsp.

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