Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Drunk Drivers for Holidays

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, December 18, 2008

Around 9:30 Thursday morning, the California Highway Patrol sent 23-year-old Liam Maier to a bar in downtown Sacramento.  He pounded eight drinks in two and a half hours on an empty stomach.  And then, the CHP stuck him in front of cameras.
Wilson: “I want you to take a nice, long, slow breath til I tell you to stop.” 
Officer John Wilson put Maier through a field sobriety test – with pretty predictable results.
Wilson: “Okay, Liam, your blood alcohol concentration right now is a 0.133, and that’s over the legal limit for the state of California...” 
Okay, we all know it was a publicity stunt.  But that’s how much the CHP and other agencies want Californians to know – don’t drink and drive this holiday season.  Christopher Murphy is with the state’s office of traffic safety.
Murphy: “Law enforcement will be out in full force the next two weeks, looking for drunk drivers.  And it just doesn’t pay to get behind the wheel when you’re drunk or when you think you’re drunk.  And we also remind motorists, if you see a drunk driver, use your cell phone, call 911.  You could be saving a life.” 
DUIs were down last year from the year before, for the first time in a decade.  And officials hope that trend will continue.  Look for more officers on the roads this holiday season, they say, and expect extra sobriety checkpoints.