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WFPD works to keep roads safe from impaired drivers

The West Fargo Police Department has received funding to conduct targeted enforcement of impaired driving. As a result, the public can expect to see West Fargo officers out a lot more at any given time looking to keep the public safe from impaired drivers.

Impaired driving affects thousands of Americans traveling on roadways every year. Every hour, drivers are arrested for driving under the influence and, for many, this is not their first offense. Nationwide, statistics illustrate that one person every 45 minutes, approximately 32 people a day, died in traffic crashes involving a vehicle driver with an alcohol concentration above the legal limit.

In 2008, there were 104 fatalities on North Dakota roadways. Alcohol use and a lack of seat belts continue to be contributing factors in crashes. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 53 of the 104 fatalities (51 percent).

The North Dakota Department of Transportation distributed funding to the West Fargo Police Department to conduct overtime enforcement in an effort to decrease impaired driving. "We will have additional officers out up to December 20th to get more drunk drivers off the road and save lives that might otherwise be lost," said Assistant Chief Mike Reitan.

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. Remember to buckle up - every trip, every time, and choose not to drink and drive.

The West Fargo Police Department recommends these simple tips: 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; and if you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.

The West Fargo Police Department can be contacted by calling 433-5500.