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DUI crackdown under way
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PINELLAS PARK – City police have joined other agencies throughout the state in a major crackdown against drunk drivers.

Sgt. Mark R. Berger of the special operations division said the effort, dubbed “Labor Day DUI Crackdown,” is taking place through Sept. 5.

“Drunk driving is a major problem that continues to rise as the population grows,” Berger said.

The crackdown is in addition to targeting red light runners, speeders and other aggressive drivers.

The special operations division is the umbrella for the traffic/DUI, K-9, community policing, motorcycle and bicycle units.

“There are never a shortage of drunk drivers,” Berger said. “Each member of the unit makes about 100 arrests each year.”

Violators come from all walks of life. No particular age group or income level is exempt.

“Injuring or killing someone is just a senseless crime,” Berger said. “The fine, cost of bond, lawyer fees and increase in insurance rates isn’t worth it.”

Neither is the jail time and loss of driving privileges that can result from a conviction.

A driver with .08 or higher can be arrested. Readings depend on the sex, weight and metabolism of the individual.

“A 90-pound woman can reach .08 after a few beers while a 300-pound man will not,” Berger said.

Police also concentrate on “problem areas” such as Park Boulevard and 49th Street and U.S. 19 and Gandy Boulevard that are notorious for red light runners.
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