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The Artesia Police Department is informing the public that officers will be on the lookout this month for drivers making the illegal choice to operate their vehicles drunk.

“Artesia police officers will be out in force during May concerning efforts to crack down on drunk drivers and related activities in order to keep the streets of Artesia safe for everyone,” said APD Cmdr. Lindell Smith.

Smith urges would-be drivers to avoid getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking alcohol.

“We are committing extra resources to ensure that our roads are safe this month,” Smith said. “Make no mistake – this is a ‘zero tolerance’ proposition. If you are caught driving drunk, you will be arrested.”

Law enforcement officials ask those engaging in alcohol consumption to be smart and plan ahead.

“Do not wait until you’ve already been drinking to try to find a sober driver, and never try to drive when you’re drunk,” said Smith. “Even one drink is dangerous if you’re behind the wheel of a car.”

The APD encourages drivers to utilize this checklist:

• PREPARATION: Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely. Find the name of a taxi company or ride-hailing service, and keep their numbers in your phone. Or plan to walk home or stay the night.

• ON THE DAY OF YOUR PLANNED CONSUMPTION: Before you take your first sip of an alcoholic beverage, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. Ensure your designated driver has committed to a sober evening. If you’re the designated driver, do not drink. Your friends are relying on you, as are the people with whom you share the road.

• EVERY DAY: First, commit to driving sober today, and every day. Second, always keep the number of a person you can rely on for a ride in your phone or in your wallet so you have a backup plan if you find yourself in need of a sober driver. If you’re impaired, don’t let pride get in the way of calling a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.

Help spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving and the resources available to keep the streets safe.