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Published December 29, 2011, 07:08 PM

Authorities Plan Impaired Driving Crackdown This New Year's

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - It's that time of year again with family, friends and holiday parties. With New Year's Eve coming up, thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country are cracking down on impaired drivers.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - It's that time of year again with family, friends and holiday parties.

With New Year's Eve coming up, thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country are cracking down on impaired drivers.

If you're traveling this holiday weekend, you may notice more police on the roads.

April: We have designated shifts that officers come in additionally off of their normally scheduled hours and they'll patrol more readily on the traveled roads," April Hansen at the East Grand Forks Police Department said.

2010 data shows a decrease in drunk driving deaths in 32 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Local officers say there may be several reasons those numbers are dropping.

"I think overall there's more education that is taking place. If you look at it there's specific enforcement agencies directed towards drinking and driving," Grand Forks Police Lt. Jim Remer said.

"I think officer presence definitely helps people be more aware of the consequences and actions," Hansen said.

But it is still a problem. Last year alone more than 10,200 people were killed because of drunk driving.

"I think the penalties are getting people's attention now and just the fact that people are more aware now than they used to be of the dangers of drinking and driving," Remer said.

Lezlie: Officers say there are several alternatives to drinking and getting behind the wheel.

"If you do have too much, hand over the keys. There's always somebody that'll take you home, there's always a cab. Just try to find an alternative way to get home safely," Hansen said.

A DUI could cost you your license, cost thousands of dollars and possibly result in jail time.

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