Federal funds will cover holiday DUI patrols in Morgan County

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - As the holidays rapidly approach, we're getting word of plans to keep roadways safe from drunk drivers. In Morgan County, deputies will be out in force thanks to federal funding for the effort.

While the rest of us will be celebrating the holidays, Morgan County sheriff's deputies will once again be working overtime to keep us safe. It's part of a federal program designed to put more cops on the road in order to get more drunks off the road.

"The program utilizes data that's been collected for DUI's and fatality wrecks. The feds pick the roads that we work," according to Capt. John Bili of the Morgan County Sheriff's Office. He adds, "Some roads they want us to saturate more than others."

The federal funds, part of the North Alabama Highway Safety Operation, are administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. It means the county is reimbursed 100% of what this will cost. And because it is an overtime program, that means none of the deputies will be pulled away from their regular duties. It's an effective program with a very simple goal.

"Safety. Cutting down on the DUI's and cutting down on the fatalities," Bili says.

Unlike some departments, Morgan County says they're not going to announce ahead of time where or when they'll set up road blocks or their saturation patrol efforts. The message is if you drink and drive in Morgan County over the holidays, you should be prepared to go to jail.

This is the fifth year Morgan County has taken advantage of the program. It does mean some long hours for some of the deputies, but again, the goal is to keep the rest of us safe.