Agencies to put brakes on holiday drunk driving | SierraSun.com

Agencies to put brakes on holiday drunk driving

Jenny Goldsmith
Sierra Sun
Patrick McCartney/Sierra SunCaltrans is helping spread the message to keep impaired drivers off the roads in the Tahoe-Truckee region.
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With more people ringing in the holiday season by consuming alcohol, Tahoe-Truckee law enforcement agencies plan to crack down on drunk driving enforcement.

In an effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on area roads, The Truckee Police Department, along with the Truckee-based California Highway Patrol, will begin a maximum enforcement schedule Friday and continue stepped-up enforcement through New Year’s, ending Thursday, Jan. 3.

“The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is one of the most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving,” Truckee Police Sgt. Jason Litchie said. “We will be out in force making sure drunk drivers are off the road.”

While neither the CHP nor the Truckee Police Department are planning to conduct sobriety checkpoints in the Truckee area, both agencies will increase the number of roving patrol officers during the holiday enforcement period.

“Eighty percent of our available officers will be employed during the maximum enforcement period,” CHP Officer Steve Skeen said Wednesday in an interview.

“We want people to enjoy the holiday season by utilizing a designated driver or by taking a taxi.”

Thanks to a $315,000 state public-safety grant, the Truckee Police Department plans to not only increase enforcement during the holidays, but will continue to crack down on impaired drivers throughout 2008.

“[The Truckee Police Department] intends to aggressively enforce alcohol and DUI laws to achieve our goal of improved traffic safety for all motorists in Truckee,” Litchie said. “If we catch you driving impaired, we will arrest you ” no exceptions, no excuses.”