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Police Use Checkpoints, BAT Mobile To Catch Drunk Drivers

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RALEIGH — This is the season for holiday cocktail parties, but if you decide to indulge, be prepared to face the consequences. Police are out in full force looking for drunk drivers.

On Thursday, a man was given anine-year sentencebecause he was driving drunk last Christmas Eve and killed a woman. The Raleigh Police Department and DMV officers do not want another name added to the list of drunk driving fatalities.

Motorists will be stopped and their driver's licenses will be checked. That is when officers will be checking drivers for clues of intoxication.

Raleigh police officer J.D. Everett says if drunk drivers are out there, they will remove them from the streets.

"Some of our arrest numbers are going down but we still have enough people on the roads who are without regard to the rest of the public that it will create a danger," Everett said. "Those are the people we are looking to remove from the area."

Those drivers can be processed at the checkpoint. A special Blood Alcohol Testing bus or BAT Mobile allows police to check the blood alcohol level of motorists and comes equipped with a magistrate on board.

Stephen Morgart, BAT Mobile coordinator, says officers can conduct the intoxilyzer breath test on the spot without leaving the checkpoint.

"If you have 10 people arrested at the checkpoint, that's 10 officers who are sitting downtown that are not back at the checkpoint," Morgart said. "This bus expedites that. Twenty-five minutes later, officers are right back out at the checkpoint trying to get the impaired drivers off the highway."

If you are caught and charged with DWI, you can lose your driving privileges for 30 days. If you are caught again within those 30 days then you could lose your car.

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Ken Smith, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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