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DUI sobriety checkpoint planned for weekend

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said a DUI sobriety checkpoint is scheduled for this weekend, beginning Friday, January 21. The operation will take place at an undisclosed location in Lee County as the Sheriff’s Office continues its commitment to getting impaired drivers off the roadways and in support of education efforts such as the national “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest” campaign.

Checkpoint emphasis is placed on the following, according to the Sheriff’s Office:

1. Remove impaired drivers from the roadway.

2. Reduce the likelihood impaired drivers will operate their vehicles on area roadways.

3. Heighten awareness.

4. Educate the public on the dangers of drunk driving.

Motorists are reminded it is a crime to mix alcohol, drugs and driving. Citizens are encouraged to avoid the risk of driving if they consume alcoholic beverages. While it may take several drinks for someone to become legally impaired, impairment begins with the first drink, authorities said. Also, drunk driving is not a victimless crime.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2009, 25 fatalities and 447 injuries in Lee County were alcohol related.

Daily enforcement, sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols by deputies with the Sheriff’s Office are a part of on-going efforts to curb traffic fatalities, injuries and crashes in Lee County.

Additionally, responsible citizens can help by promptly reporting drunk drivers to law enforcement.

Your best defense while driving is to wear your seat belt while in a car or use a helmet and protective gear when on a motorcycle, Sheriff’s authorities said.

Finally, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.” If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely, Sheriff’s officials said.

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