LAS VEGAS - Drivers know the message: Drink, drive, go to jail.
Drunk drivers quickly realized their decision to take a risky ride was a bad one when they rolled up to Metro's DUI checkpoint on Fremont Street near Oakey Boulevard Wednesday night.
"We want people to socialize and have a good time, but we also ask for responsibility," said Metro Police Lt. Rich Fletcher.
Lt. Fletcher says 5,000 cars will typically pass through a checkpoint in the downtown area. On average, up to 30 drivers will lose their cars, get handcuffed and take a ride to jail in the back of a police cruiser - after choosing to take a dangerous drive while impaired on booze, drugs, or both.
"What we're really trying to prevent is a fatality, where a good, hardworking person could be sent to prison for one night of being intoxicated," Lt. Fletcher said.
Since May, Metro has rushed to more than 60 drug and alcohol related calls in the area near Fremont and Oakey.
While drunk driving deaths on valley roads are down from two years ago, Fletcher says 12 people have lost their lives in Metro's jurisdiction this year. He says that's 12 too many.
"We're entering into the holiday season. Some people go to parties. They start drinking. They think they're okay, and they drive. Next thing you know, they're involved in an accident," he said.
As families count their blessings this Thanksgiving, authorities hope DUI suspects do too - grateful they were taken off the streets before they injured or killed themselves or an innocent person.
"Times are tough. Now is not the time to be paying lawyer fees, court fees, mechanic fees," Fletcher said. "We want people to have a good time, enjoy themselves, but do it safely."
Metro will hold the DUI checkpoint on Fremont and Oakey until 3 a.m. Thursday. Police are also going to be on the lookout for drunk drivers at other locations.
As always, if you've had too much to drink, get a designated driver or a call a cab.