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Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Law enforcement agencies team up to cut down on DUI

OKLAHOMA CITY - If you were on the roads late on Friday night you might have seen the lights and the cones. It's all a combined effort by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office to keep drivers safe.

"The goal out here is to, obviously, to decrease DUIs," said Aaron Nickell of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

In 2017, 656 people were killed in crashes on Oklahoma roads. Almost half (324) were killed in drug or alcohol-related crashes.

That's 49%- up from 43% in 2016.

Troopers know these sobriety checkpoints save lives.

"One that I always remember is I arrested a gentleman who had 5 children in the vehicle with him what made it even worse is that 4 of the children were in the bed of the pickup.  All the children were under the age of 10. I'm glad I made the stop before it got worse." said Nickell.

The mobile ENDUI enforcement center was there to help officers as they ran sobriety tests with lights in the eyes and with feet on the line.

Officials say its always a safe bet to appoint a designated driver or take a cab or ride-sharing service if you have been drinking at all.

But it's not just alcohol that can impair your ability to drive.

"If it's marijuana or any other prescribed medication, it can impair your driving. You could be used to taking your medication and used to taking it every day, but say you get a stronger dose and you don`t know it, it can impair you and will impair you," said Nickell.

And while checkpoints like these help police catch people driving under the influence, you can also help by doing your part.

"Be safe out there, be vigilant when you are driving because you could be the victim of a drunk driver. Don`t hesitate to call 911 if you see someone who you think is impaired," said Nickell.

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