More DWI Crackdown on the way

By Tracy Clemons – bio|e-mail

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA)- Louisiana State Police worked a dozen fatal accidents last weekend. At least one is suspected to be alcohol related.

Local and state agencies have already started cracking down.

Bossier City police run about four or five sobriety checkpoints every year. In its latest one, just last weekend, three people were arrested for driving drunk.

"We usually average a few DWI arrests. Three to five each checkpoint. If you get one drunk driver off the road as a result of these checkpoints, it's worth it," says Public Information Officer Mark Natale.

Even with the checkpoints and other efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road, some slip through the cracks. Last weekend, 13 people died in 12 separate accidents on Louisiana highways. At least one was alcohol-related. The Desoto Parish crash killed two teens.

"Alcohol was suspected to be a factor, as well as speed," says LSP Public Information Officer Cordell Williams.

State police already stepped up patrols for the Thanksgiving holiday, but Williams says more action is coming.

"State police is now going to implement additional DWI checkpoints. We're going to do our best to continue to saturate the highways and roads," says Williams.

The saturation is a team effort that includes making sure the public knows that police are keeping a close eye on drivers everywhere.

"When you tell them and put it in the back of their minds that police are going to be out looking for drunk drivers, hopefully that'll get somebody to change their mind if they do decide to consume alcohol, they think twice about grabbing a set of keys and getting behind the wheel of a car," says Mark Natale.

Anyone who sees someone driving aggressively, or who could possibly be driving drunk, call *577 to alert state police.

LSP will hold a sobriety checkpoint Thursday night. It will go from 8:00 p.m. To 4:00 a.m.

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