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Law agencies team up for saturation patrols

Saturday patrols will be in effect from Dec. 13 through Jan. 2 in Wasco County as a way to deter driving while intoxicated during the holiday season.

The Wasco County Sheriff’s office, Oregon State Police and The Dalles City Police will be teaming up for the effort. Additionally, the Wasco County Sheriff’s office has received grant money for the patrols provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association.

According to 2011 drunk driving statistics for Oregon, provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 97 drunk driving fatalities accounted for 29 percent of all traffic deaths in the state. This is a 39 percent increase from 2010. Additionally, the taxpayer subsidy of drunk driving fatalities was $533 million.

Here are a few tips for the holiday season:

• Don’t drink and drive — “buzzed” driving is drunk driving.

• Never use illegal drugs.

• Volunteer to be a designated driver.

• If you know someone who has been drinking and insists on driving, take their keys.

• Use public transportation or a taxi to get home.

• Always use your seatbelt.

• Avoid travel after midnight, especially weekends and holidays.

• Report all drunk drivers by calling 911.

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