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COOS COUNTY — As Fourth of July weekend approaches, the Coos County Sheriff’s Office announced increased patrols.

In a press release on Wednesday, the CCSO is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Oregon State Police and other local police agencies to improve safety on the roads this holiday.

“Drunk driving is a serious matter that destroys lives,” the release said. “Over the 4th of July holiday period in 2017, 601 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes.”

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Thirty-nine percent, or 237, of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes, the release said. That is a 23 percent increase from 2016, which saw 192 people killed over the same holiday period.

“Sixty percent of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes were in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .15 or higher,” the release said. “Please … plan accordingly as you celebrate our Independence Day. Use designated drivers, taxi services and don’t hesitate to call law enforcement to report impaired drivers. Every driver on the road who is impaired risks injury or death not only themselves, but every person they pass.”

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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