08/28/13 — Patrols to keep eyes on drivers

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Patrols to keep eyes on drivers

By John Joyce
Published in News on August 28, 2013 1:46 PM

State and local law enforcement officers will be on the lookout this weekend -- and have been since Aug. 16 -- to make sure drivers are following the rules and easing off the accelerator.

The Governor's Highway Safety Program Labor Day "Booze It and Lose It" campaign will continue through the Labor Day holiday.

The statewide initiative clamping down on drunken drivers operates most major holidays, but this three-week series of DWI check points and saturation patrols is geared toward making the end of the 2013 summer season an especially safe one, officials say.

The Wayne County totals for drunken driving citations and arrests through the first week of the campaign totaled eight. Two of the drivers charged with DWI were under 21 years old.

Other citations handed out have included 44 seat belt violations and 50 speeding tickets.

Of the 11,000 alcohol-related crashes on state roads in 2012, more than 55 percent involved drivers between the ages of 18 and 34, officials say.

Public service announcements and Twitter hashtags have been created to try to get the word out to the most at-risk demographic.

The state Department of Transportation and GHSP officials created the hashtags, "#DumbIdea," and, "#NotFunny," hoping the two might trend on the social media network and encourage young people to think twice about getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Meanwhile, in and around the state's parks, trails and waterways, another interdiction will take place this holiday weekend.

The state Highway Patrol, Alcohol Law Enforcement Division and Wildlife Resources Commission are gearing up for the final round of this year's, "On the Road, On the Water, Don't Drink and Drive," campaign.

Each year, the three law enforcement agencies combine forces to combat impaired driving near parks and waterway recreational areas across the state on the three major summer holidays -- Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, according to the Highway Patrol.

During the 2012 highway and waterway campaign, 8,500 injury collisions were investigated, 913 of which were alcohol-related and 278 resulted in fatalities.

The Labor Day crackdown will run Saturday through Monday.