Extra Patrols Planned for Labor Day Weekend
DUI checkpoints, "no refusal" enforcement, and strict enforcement of all traffic laws are some of the tools highway patrols will be using during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 holiday period.
Stepped-up enforcement is the name of the game for many highway patrol agencies during the last holiday weekend of summer 2013, with various agencies targeting aggressive driving and impaired driving from Aug. 30 through Sept. 2, which is Labor Day.
Maryland's highway patrol will be implementing Operations SHOWBOAT (SHOre-Wide Bullseye On Aggressive Traffic) and Millipede, which were successfully used during the Fourth of July weekend. The department's news release describes them as high-visibility traffic enforcement tactics focused on aggressive driving, crash reduction, and impaired driving. SHOWBOAT is concentrated on the key routes to and through Ocean City, Md., while Millipede is concentrated on I-95. During the Labor Day holiday period in 2012, four alcohol-related crashes in the state killed five people, and state troopers arrested 128 drunk drivers and made 213 criminal arrests.
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott have announced a "No Refusal" enforcement campaign in 11 counties during this year’s holiday weekend from 6 p.m. Aug. 30 to 11:59 p.m. Sept. 2. Law enforcement officials can seek search warrants for blood samples in cases involving suspected impaired drivers. "The ultimate goal is to save lives on Tennessee roadways. This targeted 'No Refusal' enforcement gives law enforcement and prosecutors another tool to hold drunk drivers accountable," Gibbons said.
There were 11 fatal crashes in Tennessee, killing 12 people, during the 2012 holiday weekend and arrests of impaired drivers are up 9 percent so far this year -- from 3,414 from January 1 through Aug. 24, 2012, to 3,728 during the same period this year. As of Aug. 27, 2013, 630 people have died in traffic accidents on Tennessee roadways, according to preliminary statistics.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol's extra enforcement will include a "20-Mile Trooper" project in which troopers patrol a specific 20-mile stretch of I-44 and work 12-hour shifts during the peak travel periods. "For many Missourians this holiday weekend will mark the last family outing of the summer months," said Capt. Lee Ann H. Kenley, commanding officer of Troop I, based in Rolla. "In order for you and your loved ones to enjoy this time, you must place an emphasis on safety. Inattention, failing to observe the speed limit, and driving while impaired are contributing factors in most all crashes, and each can easily be avoided. So please buckle up and drive as if your life and everyone else's life depends upon you, because it does."