The Labor Day holiday is one of the most dangerous times for travel behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day.
In an effort to keep impaired drivers off the road, law enforcement across the state will have an increased presence this week and over the Labor Day holiday weekend as part of the “Booze it and Lose it” campaign.
The Asheville Police Department Traffic Safety Unit Senior Police Officer Adam Cabe said throughout the entire month of September, the TSU is focusing on different campaigns related to traffic safety. During the week leading up to the Labor Day holiday weekend as well as the week after, officers will be focusing on the Governor’s Highway Safety Program “Booze it and Lose it” campaign.
“Labor Day is one of those high collision times where alcohol is a major contributing factor,” said SPO Cabe. “There will be saturation patrols in effect, meaning there will be multiple officers working stretches of highway and there will be more enforcement in areas where there has been a higher volume of DWI incidents.”
SPO Cabe added that many times it is the simple driving violations that often lead to catching an impaired driver.
“Running a red light, not stopping for a stop sign are a couple examples. Speed often comes into play when you are dealing with an impaired driver. So there are a lot of things we’re looking for,” said Cabe. “We also notice when someone is weaving in the lane or showing more aggressive driving behavior. On the other side of the spectrum, drivers sometimes show defensive driving behaviors such as driving far below the speed limit, taking a longer time to stop or they take more time leaving from a red light.”
With several bars being closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, Cabe added that impaired drivers- under the influence of alcohol or narcotics- are being pulled over at all times of the day, not just late at night.
“I’ve seen a lot of DWI fatalities and the people most impacted are those left behind after a loved one was killed. A car is a 4,000 pound weapon. A severe car crash is traumatic and a hard thing to see,” said Cabe.
Be sure to drive sober, plan ahead, slow down and keep a safe stopping space between yourself and the driver in front of you.
After the Booze and Lose campaign, law enforcement traffic enforcement will focus on the “Click it or Ticket” campaign which promotes wearing a seatbelt. Child passenger safety will be highlighted at the end of the month.