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Area Officials Say if “You Drink and Drive, You Lose” Over the Holidays

Among others, Natrona County Sheriff’s Office and Wyoming Medical Center officials spoke to Casper College students Tuesday about the dangers of drunken driving. – Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio
Officials with Wyoming Medical Center, Casper College and the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office say it’s “open season on drunk drivers” over the holidays in Wyoming.

Area health and public safety officials began the holiday segment of the “You Drink and Drive. You Lose.” campaign in front of students at Casper College on Tuesday. Pam Evert, who’s with Wyoming Medical Center, says drunken driving is a concern both in Wyoming and nationwide.

In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 51 minutes,” Evert said. “In Wyoming, in 2011, there were 35 alcohol-fatal injuries and 93 total alcohol-involved crashes.”

Sgt. John Becker, who’s with the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, says the “You Drink and Drive. You Lose.” program has been successful since its formal implementation in central Wyoming in 2001.

We came up with the ‘You Drink and Drive. You Lose.’ through (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and through the state and everything else, and, since then, we’ve only have five fatalities over within the past 11 years,” Becker said. “So, does it work? Yes.”

Dallas Laird is a Casper-area attorney whose office occasionally deals with drunken driving cases. He says monetary penalties can be severe for those hit with impaired driving-related charges.

The cost of their attorney, the cost of losing their license – if they lose their license, some people will lose their job, so they’re going to lose whatever money they were making,” Laird said. “It can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Residents can report suspected drunken driving activity by calling 911.

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