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Anti-DUI campaign rolls out for holiday season
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The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is spreading their own unique holiday message: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The sheriff’s department is striving to make residents aware that too much imbibing of holiday spirits can land a person in jail, the hospital, or worse yet the morgue, if they choose to get behind the wheel and drive drunk.

Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting drunk drivers from Dec.18 to Jan. 3, 2016. 

As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period, local law enforcement will be deploying DUI Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols during the upcoming 17 day DUI Enforcement Campaign throughout the region. Law enforcement in Stanislaus County is conducting one DUI/Drivers License Checkpoints and 25 DUI saturation patrols.

In 2013 a total of 10,076 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In December 2013 alone there were 733 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Twenty-three of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day. California was witnessed to 98 deaths and another 1,852 injured in alcohol involved collisions in December 2013. 

“It’s time for all drivers to get the message,” said Stanislaus Sheriff Adam Christianson. “Drunk driving is a choice you make, and when you make that choice, people get hurt or die. That’s why we’re joining with law enforcement nationwide to share the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” “The safest way to get home is to drive sober or catch a ride with a sober designated driver.” 

The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life-saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen. 

Stanislaus County DUI Coalition reminders everyone to follow these simple tips to stay safe: 
• Plan a safe way to get home before you attend the party. Alcohol impairs judgment, as well as reaction time. If you’re impaired you’re more likely to choose to drive drunk. 
• Designate a sober driver; take public transportation, a car service, or a call a sober friend of family member to get home. 
• Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home. 
• If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely. 

A person caught drinking and driving could face jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, towing fees, and other DUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average.

In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, Sheriff Christianson is calling on everyone to be alert and ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911.

The Avoid DUI Task Force holiday enforcement campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.