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Labor Day is two weeks away, but police are putting more officers on the streets now

A visual glance at California fatal DUI statistics

Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased in California in 2016, according to an Office of Traffic Safety report.
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Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased in California in 2016, according to an Office of Traffic Safety report.

The Merced Police Department is joining law agencies across the country in the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign.

During the enforcement period which runs from Aug. 16 through Sept. 2, additional officers from law enforcement agencies across the state will be on the road looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to a news release.

The DUI enforcement efforts are funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to police.

Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year for alcohol-involved crashes, police said. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 376 deadly crashes nationwide from Sept. 1 to Sept. 5 in 2017.

More than one-third of those crashes involved a drunken driver. In 2018, 31 people were injured and two were killed in California on Labor Day, police said.

Authorities said two of the injuries occurred in Merced and the department responded to more than 20 collisions during the three-day weekend in 2018.

Police said if you see someone driving impaired, call 911. Those who plan to drink or take medications that can affect driving ability, should designate a sober driver or use ride-share service.

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