Opinion

Stay sober behind the wheel this Labor Day

It’s the official end of summer and with Labor Day comes barbecues, parties and family get-togethers to wrap up the season.

More often than not, alcohol is one of the key ingredients at many of these holiday shindigs. It’s usually all just fun and games until someone has had too much to drink and they decide to get behind the wheel. Local law enforcement are on the lookout this holiday weekend for drunk drivers with increased emphasis patrols by the Washington State Patrol (WSP). Not only are local troopers going to be looking for drunk drivers on local highways, but also across the state.

The head officials of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Oregon State Police (OSP) and Washington State Patrol (WSP) will join rank-and-file officers and troopers on interstate freeways and secondary highways as part of a national increased enforcement effort of crash-related violations, according to a WSP news release.

The Combined Accident Reduction Effort (CARE) campaign kicked off yesterday and extends throughout the weekend.

Labor Day is historically a deadly holiday when it comes to traffic fatalities. During the extended holiday weekend last year, 11 people died in traffic collisions in Washington. WSP arrested 297 drivers who were under the influence, handed out 6,289 speeding citations and 687 occupant restraint citations.

“We are coming to the end of summer, and a lot of people are expected to be out on the roads this holiday weekend,” stated WSP Chief John R. Batiste in a news release. “Do your part to keep our roads safe — buckle up, use a designated driver and give yourself enough time to get where you are going.”

Help prevent drunk driving deaths this weekend. If you’re at a Labor Day gathering and spot someone who has been drinking who’s about to drive home, take away their keys. They may not realize it, but it’s one of the biggest favors you can do for them.

Drunk driving is the nation’s most frequently committed violent crime, according to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).

High visibility enforcement is a proven method to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by drunk driving, according to MADD.

So is being alert and keeping an eye out for someone who you think is going to drink and drive. Don’t let them or someone else become another statistic this Labor Day weekend.

To report a suspected drunk driver on the road, call 911 and report the make, model, color and license number of the vehicle and its direction of travel.

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