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Increased Effort To Nab Drivers Under Influence Of Drugs And Alcohol

By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - PennDOT, Pennsylvania State and local police are taking part in a national effort through Labor Day targeting motorists who are driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.

"Over the weekend, especially a holiday weekend like this, we'll have extra units out doing aggressive patrol looking for drunk drivers, as well as holding DUI checkpoints throughout the area," State Police Corporal Gerard McShea said.

It is called the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" effort and it's intended to raise awareness of impaired driving.

"While we're seeing alcohol-related crashes trend down overall, drugged driving is going up each year," says PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters.

Waters says besides illicit drugs, prescription medications can be a factor.

Recently, Kerry Kennedy, a member of the Massachusetts clan, was charged with driving under the influence after Ambien was found in her system after she hit a tractor trailer and drove erratically.

Waters says you need to be informed about what prescriptions you're taking, and their side effects and interactions.

"There are also drugs where, if you're not supposed to mix them with alcohol, you could be driving impaired and you won't even realize it. So pay attention to your labels."

Waters advises you to make sure you have a designated driver if you're going to drink or if you're taking prescription drugs.

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