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Avoiding drunk drivers this holiday weekend - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Avoiding drunk drivers this holiday weekend

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

During a DWI patrol Memorial Day weekend, Bossier City Police picked up five drunk drivers.

Those arrested were well above the legal limit: 0.08 blood alcohol content.

In fact, the lowest registered was 0.112 BAC, and the highest was 0.332.

"Unfortunately, at that level, that's when you start seeing head-on collisions and fatalities occur, which is what we're trying to avoid with this patrol," says BCPD Sgt. Bart Cavanaugh. "If you can get them off the streets before they hit that level, hopefully, we can save some lives this weekend."

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, one in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.

DWI patrol officers say there are some behaviors that might indicate the driver is under the influence.

They say drunk drivers often forget to turn on their headlines or use indicators. They also swerve around inside their the lane and drive erratically.

They also tend to hit the road inside the same general time frame.

Alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2010 was four times higher at night than during the day- 37 versus 9 percent.

DWI fatalities reached their highest level- 66 percent of the total- from midnight to 3 AM.

The hours before and after showed higher numbers too. Six PM to midnight accounted for 47 percent of drunk driving fatalities. Three AM to 6 AM equaled 53 percent.

Shreveport Police say their officers will be out patrolling as they do every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, holiday or no holiday.

"It is a celebratory holiday, and we encourage people to have a great time, but please do so responsibly," SPD Sgt. Marcus Hines says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following safety tips:

  • Prior to any drinking, designate a non-drinking driver when with a group.
  • Don't let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away.
  • If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • If you're hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver; offer alcohol-free beverages; and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.

Additionally, MSN Money estimates a DUI charge can carry a $10,000 price tag, even if a driver has not hit anything or harmed anyone.

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