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Police officers in York, Adams and Lancaster counties will step up patrols and conduct checkpoints over Memorial Day weekend in an effort to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, the Center for Traffic Safety said.

Seat belt violations will also be targeted, according to a news release.

"This has been a pretty effective program for us in the past," traffic safety director Wayne Harper said.

He said the checkpoint in York County will be at a predetermined location, whereas the patrols in neighboring counties will range over different areas.

"The checkpoint is where we set up at a specific location and stop every car that goes through," Harper said.

The dual-enforcement campaigns are part of the Center's Sobriety Checkpoint and Expanded DUI/Underage Drinking Enforcement Program. The Memorial Day weekend campaign coincides with a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seat belt enforcement campaign already underway known as "Click It or Ticket," running through June 5.

According to the news release, since the seat belt enforcement program is focusing largely on nighttime hours when crash risk is increased, local municipalities will focus their joint-DUI operations during the same period. These roving patrols and sobriety checkpoints — concentrated in areas statistically high in crashes and arrests — are financed by federal grant money dispersed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Harper suggested Yorkers who plan to attend cookouts or other Memorial Day festivities this weekend think ahead.

"Designate a driver," he said. "And remember, a designated driver is a person that does not drink. It's not the person who drinks the least."

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