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Manlius Police to add patrol for drunken driving this month

— The holidays will renew a push to curb drunken driving in the town of Manlius.

The police department will put out additional forces to patrol for drunken drivers Dec. 16 and 17, and Dec. 30 and 31.

“If you’re going to drink, have a designated driver,” said Manlius Police Sgt. Tina Stanton. “If you’re going to have even one drink, don’t drive. It’s just not worth it.”

Stanton said there will be two designated stop-DWI cars in the town patrolling for drunken drivers. The cars will not be focused on one particular roadway but will be spending time in targeted areas and moving to the next.

“We’re not going to focus on one particular area,” Stanton said.

The town of Manlius has seen a high rate of DWI arrests.

“Manlius is kind of a through-way,” Stanton said. “In the evening hours, it tends to be a lot quieter. We’re a bedroom community of Syracuse. We don’t have as many calls so we’re out there proactively looking for things. We have the opportunity to get out there and be a little proactive because we’re not responding to call-after-call.”

Identifying drunken drivers, particularly on nights with a high likelihood of drinking, like New Year’s Eve, could help avoid accidents, Stanton said.

“If the car seems to be meandering around the road, pull over to the shoulder,” she said. Other tell-tale signs a driver could be intoxicated include stopping and starting and driving slow but rapidly speeding up.

While DWI refers to a blood alcohol content level higher than .08, drivers can be charged with driving while ability impaired, as well. Stanton encourages all to use a designated driver or to call for transportation home, especially during the holiday season.

“Use common sense,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many times we have arrested the designated driver. If you even have one drink, just don’t get behind the wheel.”

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