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DUI rates on the incline

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Sixty-one people have died on Vermont roadways so far this year, a slight increase from last year’s total. In a number of those crashes, police say drugs and alcohol are factors.

Sgt. Paul Ravelin of the Vermont State Police says in a number of crashes and deaths, drugs, alcohol or both have been present.

According to data from VTrans, 22 drivers killed in crashes so far this year were under the influence. In recent years, numbers have increased to as high as 40. That was last year.

“We can only issue so many tickets, we can only issue so many arrests. We cannot issue enough to stop this. It’s not an arrest-our-way-out-of-this or ticket-our-way-out-of-this. We really understand that there’s got to be a partnership between all of our stakeholders on the roadway,” Ravelin said. “From the folks that are engaging in the festivities, to the friends and families that are there with them, they understand this person may be too impaired to drive.”

He emphasizes motorists should always plan ahead and use a designated driver.

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