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Proposal hopes to keep potential drunk drivers off the road

An Alaska town is attempting a proactive approach after several recent alcohol-related incidents. In one weekend, three drunk drivers were arrested and an earlier case involved injury to a pedestrian by a driver who was intoxicated. A spokesperson for the police department says they have come up with a plan to reduce the numbers of drunk drivers, arrests and risk of injuries as the holiday season approaches.

The proposed plan is to have the police department provide vouchers to bartenders to give patrons who have had too much to drink. The vouchers would be worth $20 toward a ride home in a taxi. The response from local bar owners and the taxi companies about the idea has been positive. There are already bartenders who will often pay the fare for some customers who do not need to get behind the wheel.

The department has tried this approach before on New Year's Eve and it worked well. Because of the celebratory atmosphere of the holidays, the police chief feels this is the perfect time to try this for a longer time frame. Their goal is to make those people who have been drinking conscious of the fact they do not need to be driving while their faculties are diminished.

Drunk drivers in Alaska face fines, suspended licenses and other consequences. However, their greatest risk is to others out on the road. Pedestrians or other drivers who have been injured by someone drinking and driving have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. An experienced attorney will help those injured pursue the compensation to which they are entitled.

Source: juneauempire.com, "Sitka police to try vouchers to curb holiday DUIs", Shannon Haugland, Dec. 4, 2015

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