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Insight from WFPD: Police remind motorists to drive safe, smart

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opinion Fargo, 58102

Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

Spring is here and that means many of us are heading outdoors to enjoy the weather. With the many outdoor activities taking place such as graduations, BBQs, family picnics, and baseball games, don't lose sight of being a responsible driver.  If you choose to drink, do so responsibly and don't drink and drive. 

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Impaired driving affects thousands of Americans every year. In 2009, there were 140 fatalities on North Dakota roadways and 55 of these fatalities were alcohol-related. In an effort to continue decreasing alcohol-related crashes, law enforcement agencies across North Dakota are determined to get drunk drivers off the roads by educating everyone on the dangers of drinking and driving.

"We want to get the message across that all ages need to be responsible at all times if choosing to drink. If you plan on drinking, even one alcoholic beverage; designate a sober driver to take you home. It is not worth it to drink and drive, as a DUI could cost you up to $10,000 and someone's life," said Officer Trent Stanton.

Alcohol-related deaths are 100 percent preventable. In addition, wearing a seat belt will save a person's life and decrease the severity of injury the vast majority of the time. Make smart decisions. Remember to buckle up - every trip, every time and choose not to drink and drive.

The West Fargo Police Department and North Dakota Department of Transportation recommends these simple tips for safe spring driving:

*Always have a plan;

*Designate a sober driver or call a cab;

*Take the keys from someone who has been drinking;

*If you're impaired, and haven't designated a sober driver, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member so you are sure to get home safely;

*If you are hosting a party, be responsible and provide safe rides home for those who have been drinking and provide non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers

*If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.

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