MONTGOMERY— As Alabamians celebrate the long Labor Day weekend and the kickoff of college football season, officers from more than 200 law enforcement agencies will be working overtime to remove drunken drivers from the state’s roads.
Officers from 202 police and sheriff’s departments are joining with Alabama State Troopers to target drunken drivers and other violators by taking part in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign. The officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and additional patrols as part of the campaign which runs through Sept. 2. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs caused 6,859 automobile crashes and 220 fatalities on Alabama highways in 2011, according to the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama.
Funding for the extra patrols comes from grants totaling $256,000 awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to nine regional traffic safety offices and the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
“Getting behind the wheel after drinking even a small amount of alcohol raises the risk of serious harm to passengers and other motorists,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “The extra patrols and increased visibility of law enforcement officers will send a clear message that drunken driving is unacceptable on Alabama’s roads and highways.”
Col. Hugh McCall, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, asks Alabamians do their part by agreeing not to drive if they have been drinking alcohol and by insisting that loved ones do the same.
“Partnering with other law enforcement agencies is important, but it is our partnership with motorists that is key to a successful enforcement campaign and a safe holiday weekend,” said McCall, the state’s highest-ranking trooper.
ADECA administers the grant funding provided to the state by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to law enforcement and traffic safety, ADECA administers an array of programs supporting economic development, energy conservation, workforce development, water resource management and recreation development.