Saginaw Sheriff Department planning extra drunk driving patrols - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw Sheriff Department planning extra drunk driving patrols this weekend

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(11/21/12) - Thanksgiving weekend means turkey and stuffing for most, but it means potential trouble for police.

Wednesday night is a big night for drunken driving, and to combat the issue, 100 agencies across 20 counties are using state money to help keep everyone safe on the roads.

The night before Thanksgiving is the biggest bar night of the year, so the Saginaw Sheriff Department takes this seriously and they'll have extra eyes on the road all weekend starting tomorrow evening.

"If you're drinking, you will go to jail," said Saginaw Co. Sheriff Bill Federspiel.

Thanksgiving means friends and family coming home, and celebrating, often with a few cocktails.

That's where the Saginaw sheriff says things can go haywire.

"I don't want people thinking I can just have two and drive," he said. "Just don't drive if you're going to drink, call a cab, call a family member, walk if you have to."

In fact, drinking and driving can be such a problem the night before Thanksgiving, the state is helping them put extra officers on the road all weekend.

"Some of our tax money, we're paying for it, the state is giving it back to us to use in over-time grants so I can keep  my allotted number of deputies on the streets and so they can focus strictly on drunk driving arrests," Federspiel said.

The sheriff says they have a zero tolerance policy; if you've even had one drink, they want you to find a ride home.

If you're caught it could mean losing your license, serious fines and someone could get killed.

"Think about it, I tell people all the time, think for just a minute what would you tell your kids to do? What would you expect others to do? Respect people, don't drink and drive," he said.

The Sheriff Department says if you're caught drinking and driving three times, they'll take your car, sell it, and use it to fund more drunken driving patrols.

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