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Labor Day Closings

Police presence up for holiday weekend

By MELISSA SULLIVAN

Eagle Staff Writer

Law enforcement is out in full swing this Labor Day weekend as Brazos Valley residents hit the road to enjoy the unofficial end of summer.

The holiday weekend tends to bring a high number of traffic fatalities across the state because so many people drink and drive, law enforcement officials say.

Officer Walt Melnyk, spokesman for the Bryan Police Department, said the agency will be adding patrol units on the roads this weekend. He said the department is strictly enforcing alcohol laws.

“We strongly recommend to anybody to find a ride home if they have been drinking,” Melnyk said.

Police encounter mostly alcohol-related problems during the Labor Day weekend, he said.

“Our goal is to reduce the number of drunk-driving incidents,” Melnyk said.

College Station Police Sgt. Gary Vick said his department also is adding officers on the streets, including extra security at Northgate, through the weekend.

The added officers will be patrolling roadways looking for people who are driving drunk, he said.

Although this is not an Aggie home football game weekend, Vick said, officers still will be out in full force issuing citations.

“I’m sure a lot of folks went home, but we will still be out there doing enforcement anyway,” Vick said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety also will have added troopers on the highways targeting speeders, seat belt violators and drunken drivers, according to a DPS press release.

The agency also is participating in the program “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail,” a nationwide crackdown aimed at enforcing drunken-driving laws as well as reducing the number of alcohol-related deaths and injuries during the Labor Day weekend.

Last year DPS troopers made 620 arrests across the state for driving while intoxicated during the Labor Day weekend.

Driving while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

• Melissa Sullivan’s e-mail address is msullivan@theeagle.com.

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