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Increased enforcement planned for March 14-17

Officers to be on the lookout for drugged, drunk drivers

Area residents heading out to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year need to make sure they have more than just the luck o’ the Irish on their side.

The holiday on March 17 is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, according to law enforcement officials and this means more impaired drivers on the roads.

Drunk driving accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle related fatalities in the United States. Nationally, in 2018 alone, 73 people (39 percent of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period and 33 percent of the pedestrians aged 16 and older killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration at or above .08. In 2019 in Iowa, there were two crashes over the holiday which killed four people.

To combat the increased impaired driving around the holiday local law agencies will be stepping up traffic enforcement March 14 to 17. Officers will especially be watching for drunk and drugged drivers and anyone not wearing seat belts.

Officials said it’s essential to plan a sober ride in advance if the holiday celebration will include alcohol.

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