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Delaware officials aim to curb drunk driving this holiday season

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Delaware Public Media
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Delaware officials want to keep drunk drivers off the roads during the holidays, as state police are cracking down on DUIs.

Officials from the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement seek to curb drunk driving that is linked to over-service at restaurants and bars. Lieutenant Kevin Jones said now until February, officers will be in bars and restaurants across the state undercover to make sure alcohol is not served to customers that are visibly intoxicated.

“Preventing DUIs is something that we try to do,” Jones said. “It’s an uphill battle, it’s something we do throughout the year. But we’re stepping it up for the holiday season and for the end of the football season.”

It is part of a focused effort with Delaware’s Office of Highway Safety to bring road fatalities down. OHS spokeswoman Lisa Flowers said people should be mindful how they travel before they start drinking.

“We’re hoping to change behaviors in a way that if people want to go out and have a good time and have some beverage and alcohol, that they think about how are they going to get home? What’s gonna happen if they do become intoxicated? What is their plan B on that?” Flowers said.

The OHS wants to be sure people have a safe time and arrive home safely, Flowers said. The OHS and DATE partnership includes enforcement and education. Some officers will work with servers on how to identify intoxicated customers.

Drunk driving has also resulted in nearly 60 arrests through the Office of Highway Safety’s Checkpoint Strikeforce over the last several months. Flowers said the state has seen almost 40 fatalities this year due to drunk driving.