FARMINGTON — An extra officer will patrol town streets from now through Labor Day as the Farmington Police Department joins others nationwide in a holiday crackdown on drunken driving.

It’s part of a campaign to prevent drunken driving and save lives, said Sgt. Shane Cote, who administers the program for the Farmington Police Department. The additional officer’s sole responsibility during the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. patrols is to be on town streets looking for impaired drivers, Cote said. The officer will stop vehicles for any motor vehicle violation and
check for driver impairment, but there has to be a reason to pull the
car over, he said.

The department is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration program, which focuses on impaired drivers or those whose performance of critical driving tasks is reduced by the effects of alcohol or other drugs. NHTSA statistics identify a death every 30 minutes due to impaired driving.

The department has yearly received a grant from the Bureau of Highway Safety since 2005 to administer additional patrols from May to September. The grant covers the overtime salary for the officer.

As of the end of July, 113 vehicles have been stopped and five drivers apprehended for operating under the the influence of alcohol or other drugs. A variety of other summonses have also been issued.

An added benefit for the town may result from the visibility of more cruisers patrolling the streets perhaps preventing other types of crime like burglaries, he said.

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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration logo

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