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Sheriff’s Department Reminds Drivers That Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

VICTORVILLE-(  The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind drivers that buzzed driving is drunk driving, so don’t risk it. Every day, especially holidays lives are lost by those feeling “sober enough” to drive. Even those that do not lose or take lives many times lose their license, income or freedom due to drunk driving. Officials remind those that will be drinking as part of their Halloween festivities to have a designated driver or to plan to stay at the location for the night.

“If you want to stay safe this Halloween then make a plan to get home without driving if you’ve been drinking,” said Sergeant Dave Burgess. “Even one drink impairs judgment, so plan to get home by taxi, rideshare, mass transit, or designate a sober drive. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, so think ahead to stay safe.”

Extra DUI officers will be on duty in all Victor Valley cities to ensure safety for those on the road on one of the most deadly nights of the year. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department says that they will be looking for tell-tale signs of alcohol or drug impairment during each enforcement contact all weekend long.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31st – 5:59 a.m. November 1st) from 2009 to 2013 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. On Halloween night alone 119 people lost their lives over that same period. Children out trick-or-treating and the parents accompanying them are also at risk, as 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night (2009-2013) involved drunk drivers.

It is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes with 867 of those in California alone, along with 23,000 others seriously injured. Even if you drive drunk and aren’t killed or seriously injured you could end up paying as much $10,000 for a DUI.

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so 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 drunk 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 or family member to get home.
  • Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911.
  • If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely.

The Victorville Police Department along with other agencies from around the county and region will be conducting enforcement operations as part of the County’s DUI taskforce. Funding for these special operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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