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Police on lookout for drunk drivers during holiday weekend

The Portland Police Bureau plans to increase DUII patrols through the Fourth of July weekend.

Traffic Division officers will be on the lookout for drivers under the influence of intoxicants, according to the mayor's office.

“We had 36 fatalities on Portland streets last year and, for a very large number of those, substance abuse was a factor,” Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said in a statement released Wednesday. “This is a growing health crisis. Last year, twice as many people died in traffic than in murders in our city.”

According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2007 to 2011, 780 people in the United States died in crashes that involved drivers with a blood-alcohol level at .08 or above during the July 4 holiday.