Police about to go into enforcement blitz
Don Ames Reporting
State police are gearing up for plenty of overtime work.
They'll be pulling extra duty starting tomorrow, as they begin an 18-day crackdown on drunken driving in preparation for the long Labor Day weekend.
It's an early start to drive home the point that troopers will be on the lookout for drunk drivers over the holiday period.
Consider it kind of an early warning.
"Our first obligation is to get the word out...let people know that we are going to be cracking down," says Lt. Doug Cain, chief spokesman for Louisiana State Police.
Listen to Don Ames' conversation with Cain:
"We are going to be stepping up enforcement efforts and it's going to be a zero tolerance," Cain says.
Troopers will put in some 8,100 hours of overtime during the extended holiday watch, Friday through Labor Day, September 7th.
"We want to get out early, we want to get our message out and get that public awareness effort out before we start the enforcement push," says Cain.
A federal grant is expected to pay about $96,000 for the overtime hours.
Local agencies are adding patrols as well.
The crackdown is part of the national safety program "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest'' sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Last years' Labor Day weekend period saw 4 deaths and 55 injuries in alcohol-related crashes on Louisiana roads.