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      Lexington County DUI taskforce helping make streets safer

      LEXINGTON COUNTY (WACH) -- For several years Lexington County has been fighting drinking and driving.

      In 2011 Lexington saw the largest spike in deadly DUI crashes in the state.

      "It's kinda what's accepted in the community. There are a lot of establishments where alcohol is readily available and it's just kind of the norm," said Glen Levine.

      Law enforcement and the Lexington Richland Alcohol And Drug Abuse Council teaming up to create a DUI task force.

      Thanks to a grant, officers have been able to crack down on drinking and driving in the county.

      According to Fist Sgt. Levine of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Lexington County has seen a 50 percent drop in deadly crashes this year.

      "People clearly understand that law enforcement is not going to tolerate it. There are programs out there to support us and were going to do all we can to get out and curb this behavior," adds Levine.

      "If you're engaging in this type of behavior in our community you will get caught," said Kristy Stoneburner.

      Stoneburner with LRADAC says the grant pays for officers, tool kits that teach bars and restaurants about overserving and education for the community about the problem.

      Stoneburner says while they are entering the final year of the grant they're already looking for new funding options.

      Despite that the beefed up police presence will continue.

      "Certainly expect and hope for safer roadways in Lexington County and the primary outcome that were trying to achieve is a reduction in DUI related traffic crashes," said Stoneburner .

      "This is not just a Lexington or Richland county problem this is problem throughout the whole state," said Levine.

      LRADAC received grant money for similar programs in neighboring Richland County.

      Right now that county leads the state in deadly wrecks this year.

      Levine and Stoneburner hope their work will make a lasting impact.