Nearly half of all fatal vehicle accidents on North Dakota roadways-- are alcohol related.
Starting this weekend, a regional DUI Task force is out patrolling right now... to curb drunk drivers.
There have been 18 more deaths related to alcohol statewide this year than last year in August.
That statistic has forced a multi-agency enforcement program to try and stop drinking and driving.
City, county and state patrol officers are teaming up to crack down on impaired drivers.
We ride along with a state trooper on his first night of DUI patrol.
Officers look for signs such as blood-shot eyes--or an odor of alcohol to make sure someone isn't under the influence when being stopped for a normal traffic violation
(Shannon Henke/ State Trooper) "Fatalities are up this year statistically speaking they're usually right in between 40 and 50 percent of fatalities that involve alcohol and for 2012 we're right in line with that again. We're trying to reduce that number. We're gonna do sobriety checkpoints, DUI saturations and just try to get that number down."
Henke says that he would realistically like to see that percentage of alcohol related fatalities drop 20 to 25 percent.
The increased DUI enforcement will continue through Labor Day weekend.