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Authorities Target Drunk Driving Over Holidays

Casper Police officer Joe Moody writes a ticket for a driver’s expired plates in 2011. Extra patrols targeting drunken drivers will run over the Independence Day holiday this week.

Natrona County law enforcement agencies will work together this Fourth of July holiday to keep drunk drivers off highways and streets, the Wyoming Department of Transportation announced Monday.

“We’ll have designated patrols around places where people are gathering,” Casper Police spokeswoman Rebekah Ladd said. “We’re out on the roadways just being very vigilant to any kind of distracted drivers, being very strategic on where we are and what we’re doing.”

Wyoming Highway Patrol, Mills Police Department, Evansville Police Department, Casper Police Department and the Natrona County Sheriff’s office will be involved in the enhanced enforcement operation.

“We want to be very clear about the consequences of drunk driving,” Chief Bryon Preciado of the Mills Police Department said in the announcement. “In every state in this country, drunk driving is illegal. It’s also incredibly deadly, and a risk we don’t want to see people take.”

During the Fourth of July holiday in 2014, there were 11 alcohol-involved car crashes. That number increased to 18 in 2017. During the same time, there were seven fatalities and 113 injuries from car crashes.

Seeing a sharp decrease, 2018 only had the three alcohol-involved crashes. There were no death and only 15 crash-related injuries.

The multiple law enforcement agencies in the county are pushing residents to make a plan before attending events and not drink and drive, Ladd said.

Additionally, Wyoming Highway Patrol is urging drivers to report suspected drunk drivers. Callers can dial the “Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately” hotline number 800-442-9090 and be prepared to give the dispatcher a description of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel.

“Make no mistake: If you are caught drinking and driving, you will be pulled over and arrested,” Preciado said. “Driving under the influence of any substance will land you in jail.”

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