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The West Fargo Police Department is taking part in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Labor Day weekend drunk-driving enforcement campaign. From Aug. 17-Sept. 3, the West Fargo Police Department is increasing patrol units on the streets to crack down on impaired driving.
In West Fargo, there have been 183 drunk-driving arrests so far in 2018, which is a 40 percent increase over the same period last year. While the recent addition of officers contributes to some of this increase says Lt. Adam Gustafson with the West Fargo Police Department, it also highlights the need for additional enforcement and awareness, especially around holidays and summer months.
“Labor Day is a particularly important time to increase patrol because statistics show it is one of the most common weekends for drunk-driving fatalities to occur,” said Gustafson. “In fact, the National Safety Council reports that during the 2016 Labor Day holiday 36 percent of traffic fatalities nationwide involved an alcohol-impaired driver.”
In North Dakota, nearly 40-50 percent of vehicle fatalities are alcohol-related annually and more than 300 people died in alcohol-related crashes from 2012-2016. This equated to one alcohol-related fatality every seven days in 2016. Last year, one alcohol-related crash occurred every 11 hours on North Dakota roads. Furthermore, the average blood alcohol content among DUI offenders in North Dakota is 0.17, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08
“Many lives would be saved if every driver consistently made the choice to not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said Gustafson. “The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign gives our enforcement an opportunity to help spread the message that this behavior is deadly and illegal.”
To avoid drunken driving, law enforcement encourages every motorists to drink responsibly, plan ahead and designate a sober driver or call a cab. Motorists can also download the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s SaferRide mobile app to assist in getting home safely. The app allows users to call a taxi or a pre-programmed friend, and also helps easily identify the user’s current location.
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