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Steven J. Klearman
Steven J. Klearman
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Nevada Drunk Drivers Stay Home

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From the Reno Gazette Journal Today:

Local law enforcement agencies launch a region-wide drunk driving enforcement campaign beginning Monday that will consist of saturation patrols through Labor Day weekend.

Law enforcement officers urge people who drink to do so responsibly and not drive while under the influence. Instead they can use public transportation like a bus or taxicab or having non-drinking, designated drivers to prevent alcohol-related deaths or injuries. Most drunk drivers come from neighborhood bars and individual parties, Sgt. Pat Dreelan of the Reno Police Department traffic division said in a statement.

There were 1,592 DUI arrests by Reno police officers in 2007, a significant increase over the 1,014 arrests in 2006, the statement said. Reno police say this is noteworthy because about half of the 14 fatal vehicle accidents in the city of Reno in 2007 involved drugs or alcohol.

First time DUI offenders face penalties that can include arrest, impounding of the vehicle being driven, two days to six months in jail or community service, a fine of $400-$1,000.00, a chemical test fee, attending DUI school or substance abuse treatment, and participation before a victim impact panel. In addition, first-time offenders can have their drivers license revoked and have to pay license reinstatement and other related feeds and may see a substantial increase in vehicle insurance fees, if the insurance carrier retains the individual as a client. A DUI arrest and or conviction remain in criminal history files for the rest of the individuals life, and convictions and license revocations also remain in an individuals DMV record for the rest of their life. Repeat DUI offenders face increased penalties.

Law enforcement officers suggest people help law enforcement by reporting drivers who may be under the influence. When a potential drunk driver is seen the vehicles license plate number and vehicle description should be reported to dispatch by calling 334-COPS.