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With holiday party season approaching, Mayor Griffin today issued a proclamation declaring next week Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week in Buffalo.

The proclamation was made at the request of the Niagara Frontier Chapter of RID (Remove Intoxicated Drivers).

"It's unfortunate we have to do this every year," RID spokesman Hugo Radt said. "Holidays are supposed to be happy, but don't have too many cocktails."

Radt and Griffin suggested holiday partygoers select a designated driver before they go out. The driver, who would not drink, would be responsible for getting the others safely home.

"The police will be out there and the Parking Bureau as well," Griffin said. "To avoid having a problem, make sure you have a designated driver."

The mayor said he believes more severe penalties for drunken driving have reduced the number of arrests in the city in recent years. Members of RID said the numbers have declined significantly but recently reached a plateau.

Radt said social drinkers have become increasingly aware of the stiff penalties associated with driving while intoxicated.

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