Labor Day is a U.S. federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday in September as a day to honor the working class. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the "working man." It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest, and several view it as the symbolic end of summer. For many it means picnics and backyard get-togethers, the last weekend at the lakes, or traveling to out-of-town destinations to relax with family and friends.
No matter how you decide to spend the three-day weekend, the goal of law enforcement officials will be to keep it safe for everyone on all roadways, and toward that end, they will be out in full force striving to accomplish just that.
The West Fargo Police Department will be conducting saturation patrols as part of an ongoing nationwide enforcement campaign called 'Drunk Driving - Over the Limit - Under Arrest.' Additional officers will be on duty during this time frame for the purpose of locating and arresting impaired drivers - reinforcing the fact that driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is a crime and will not be tolerated, whether it's a car, pickup, sport utility vehicle or motorcycle.
Impaired driving is no accident - nor is it a victimless crime - it is one of America's most-often-committed and deadliest crimes. And the problem is that far too many people don't understand that alcohol, drugs, and driving don't mix.
It is the hope that by promoting public awareness of the risks of impaired driving, alcohol-related crashes can be reduced or eliminated.
In 2009, forty percent of motor vehicle fatalities occurring in North Dakota were alcohol-related.
Law enforcement officials are hoping the extra visibility of officers on the roadways will make motorists choose not to drink and drive, and result in a reduction of car crashes and fatalities.
The bottom line is, if you are going to drink, at least do so responsibly, and don't jeopardize the safety or well-being of others.
Fortunately, each of us can do our own individual part in preventing tragedy and avoid becoming a statistic by taking a few simple precautions before setting foot in a vehicle. For a safe Labor Day weekend: designate a sober driver before going out and consuming alcohol and give that person the keys to the vehicle; if impaired, call a taxi, or a sober friend or family member to get you home safely; promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement; and wear your safety belt while in a car, or a helmet and protective gear when on a motorcycle as
your best defense against an impaired driver.
Enjoy the weekend, celebrate and have fun, but do so in a responsible, safe manner.
A little bit of common sense will go a long way in insuring that a great time can and will be had by all.