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Police ramp up holiday patrols

December 15, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The holiday season is one of the most festive times of the year, affording people an opportunity to spend time with friends and family and attend social gatherings at local establishments. Unfortunately, the holiday season also marks the most dangerous time of the year to be on the road, as intoxicated drivers cause hundreds of accidents nationwide between Dec.15 and Jan 1.

State and local law enforcement officials will be out in force beginning today, Dec. 16, targeting motorists who drive aggressively, use excessive speed, or appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Sturbridge Police will run extra patrols through the New Year as part of the national Drunk Driving — Over the Limit, Under Arrest campaign, which is funded by a federal grant through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

"After hearing about the dangers of drinking and driving time after time, most people have received the message that if they're planning on drinking, they should always plan a safe way home," said Sturbridge Police Sgt. Kevin Mercier. "But sadly, millions of Americans still think they are invincible and regularly choose to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink."

The Sturbridge Police are also reminding parents that young men will be at particularly high risk this holiday season, as nearly one-quarter of American men under the age of 25 admitted to riding with someone who should not have been behind the wheel in the past year.

"We know that the holiday season can be one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America's roadways due to an increase in drunk driving," Mercier said. "Don't let your 2010 end in an arrest or worse, death. Remember, whether you've had way too many or just one too many, it's not worth the risk."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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