Lawmen promise Labor Day patrols

Published 11:19 am Thursday, August 28, 2008

Those who intend to make drinking part of their Labor Day celebration should plan not to drive.

As part of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, law enforcement officers throughout the Roanoke-Chowan region are planning to be out in mass this weekend to make sure any driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol is off the area’s roadways.

“We will be out in Northampton County,” promised Jackson Police Chief John Young, who coordinates the county’s Governor’s Highway Safety program. “We want people to pay attention to their speed, keep off the roads if they’re drinking and just generally be proactive.

“If you think and are proactive, it will save you,” Young said.

Windsor Police Chief Rodney Hoggard coordinates the Bertie County program and said his officers would certainly be out.

“My officers love a good check point,” Hoggard said. “You can expect them anytime and anywhere in the town limits or even outside if we work with the N.C. Highway Patrol.”

Hoggard said it was important for people to remember not to drink and get behind the steering wheel.

“I think it’s one of the dumbest things you can do,” the chief emphasized. “If you don’t end up killing yourself or somebody else, you’re going to get caught and when you do, it’s going to cost you n financially and by losing your license.”

Both law officers said it was important for those who intended to drink to make plans ahead of time.

“Stay off the roadways if you’re going to be drinking,” Young said. “It’s important to make plans if you’re going out to make sure you have a safe way home that doesn’t involve anyone who has been drinking getting behind the wheel.”

Hoggard said, “If you’re going to drink, stay home. If you have to go out, make sure you have a designated driver ahead of time. Once you get to the event, it’s too late.”

Over in Hertford County, Sheriff Juan Vaughan, a veteran law enforcement officer, knows all too well that the Labor Day holiday period marks one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

“Traditionally during the Labor Day, our highways experience one of the highest traffic flows of the year,” Sheriff Vaughan noted. “Everyone knows that summer is fading and everyone is trying to squeeze in one last weekend get-away.”

Sheriff Vaughan joined his law enforcement counterparts in stressing that motorists just need to pay attention to their driving, especially while maneuvering in high-traffic areas. “Be courteous and tolerant of other drivers; don’t get angry with bad drivers or reckless ones – just get out of their way,&uot; Sheriff Vaughan said. &uot;Let’s make this Labor Day weekend a safe one on the roads here in Hertford County.&uot;