Police prepare for holiday weekend

Published 12:55 am Friday, September 2, 2011

By Alex Allain

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — As the Labor Day weekend approaches, local law enforcement agencies are preparing for increased travel activity.

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Area agencies will have more patrolmen on the street. The Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol will also increase its presence on the state’s highways.

The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office said, in a press release, that deputies will increase patrols Friday through Monday, targeting drunk drivers, speeding, and seat belt violations.

“This is the last big holiday weekend that everyone will be celebrating for summer 2011,” said Sheriff Randy Maxwell.

“We want everyone to celebrate safely and we really want them to be aware that our officers will be out in force to help make it safe.”

Drivers need to be alert due to the elevated traffic, he said.

“Distracted driving is another issue that’s become a top safety concern,” Maxwell said. “Everyone needs to remember that texting while driving is not only extremely dangerous, it’s against the law.”

The Vidalia Police Department and Natchez Police Department both reported additional patrols for the holiday weekend.

“We are emphasizing traffic safety,” says Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins.

He says that officers are working overtime this weekend on a state traffic grant. These efforts are intended to reduce injury accidents and traffic fatalities.

The state legal limit to be charged for DUI is .08 for persons of legal drinking age of 21 years of age, .02 for persons under legal drinking age, and .04 for persons operating a commercial vehicle.

However, if an individual’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is impaired, they can be charged even though they may not meet the state legal limit.

“Just be safe, enjoy the holiday, and obey traffic rules and law,” advises Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis.