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President Trump pledges resources to combat drunk driving

Law enforcement agencies in Washington and around the country generally step up their efforts to reduce impaired driving during the holiday season. As part of these efforts, the Trump administration has proclaimed December 2017 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The president's Nov. 30 proclamation pledged to provide the nation's police departments with the resources and tools they need to keep drunk drivers off the roads. It also vowed to reduce the number of regulations faced by companies offering an alternative to driving home such as ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Alcohol was once a factor in about two-thirds of all fatal traffic accidents. However, the roads have become far safer in recent decades thanks largely to persuasive public information campaigns, stricter drunk driving laws and rigorous law enforcement. However, the downward trend in road deaths came to an abrupt end in 2015, and fatalities have now risen alarmingly for two consecutive years. According to government figures, more than 10,000 road users lost their lives in accidents involving drunk drivers in 2016.

In addition, the president's proclamation reminded Americans that it is ultimately up to them to act responsibly. The proclamation also asked Americans to consider the lives of other road users before drinking and driving. Americans are urged to take action when a friend, colleague or family member gets behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

Criminal defense attorneys may study police reports carefully when their clients have been taken into custody on drunk driving charges during a law enforcement crackdown. Sobriety checkpoints are not permitted in Washington, and police officers in the state are only authorized to pull over vehicles when they have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed or is being committed.

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