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Ohio drivers with DUIs may get special plates

Motorists caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Ohio on New Year's Day could be ordered to have special license plates with red numbers for the first part of 2004.

A law that takes effect Thursday requires the plates with a yellow background for people convicted of driving while intoxicated who are allowed some driving privileges.

The special plates have been an option for judges since 1967, but rarely have been used. The new law resulted from a revision of Ohio's traffic safety laws.

The plates are intended as a deterrent, not as a tip-off for law enforcement, said Lt. Rick Fambro of the State Highway Patrol.