09/03/10 — County's officers will be on lookout for violators on Labor Day travel weekend

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County's officers will be on lookout for violators on Labor Day travel weekend

By Laura Collins
Published in News on September 3, 2010 1:46 PM

In an effort to reduce drunken driving, speeding and traffic accidents over the Labor Day weekend, area law enforcement officers are increasing the number of patrols and checkpoints.

State Highway Patrol First Sgt. G.L. Burton said his office plans to not only send troopers to the coast to help beef up manpower there, but also is planning to increase the number of checkpoints locally.

"We're sending people to the coast for the hurricane. They'll be directing traffic and road closures, if needed," he said. "Here, line patrol will be out on the major highways including U.S. 70, U.S. 117, N.C. 111 and N.C. 55."

Burton added that the troopers will specifically be looking for speeding, seat belt violations and drunken drivers.

"We're going to have random group patrols working high traffic areas and high traffic violation areas," Burton said. "We'll be doing checkpoints also focusing on speed, seat belts and DWIs."

Goldsboro Police Department Maj. Mike West said patrol officers will also be conducting DWI and license checkpoints this weekend.

"We're not increasing manpower, we have sufficient manpower on the streets now to reduce drinking and driving," he said. "But we will be doing several checkpoints. Traditionally, this weekend has a tendency to see an increase in DWI arrests and DWI-related traffic accidents."

He warned people against going overboard the last holiday of the summer.

"If you drink and drive, you're going to get caught," he said.

Wayne County Sheriff's Office Capt. Dwayne Edwards said the sheriff's office will also have additional manpower on the road to respond to a higher number of calls, if needed.

Statewide, the North Carolina Depart-ment of Transportation said law enforcement across the state will be participating in a "Border to Border" initiative. Residents traveling to South Carolina, Vir-ginia or Georgia can expect checkpoints at the borders.

The Department of Transportation said there were 174 alcohol-related crashed resulting in four fatalities and 133 injuries in North Carolina over the Labor Day weekend in 2008.