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Plan to get drunks at drive-thrus falls flat

TUCSON – A plan by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department that would have stationed deputies at fast-food joints to sniff out drunken drivers appears to have fallen flat.

The department had hoped to target drunken driving by putting undercover deputies inside 24-hour fast-food restaurants to spot impaired drivers placing their orders. If deputies spotted someone with classic symptoms of impairment, they were to call a uniformed deputy stationed outside to pull the driver over.

But sheriff’s Lt. Karl Woolridge says the department asked various fast-food chains if they’d agree to be a part of the program, but all of them declined.

Money for the program would have come from a $128,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for fiscal year 2008-2009. The grant funds sobriety checkpoints and other anti-drunken-driving programs.

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