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|Labor Day closures, patrols on tap|
Parish government agencies and banks will be closed Monday for Labor Day.
Ferriday Town Hall, Clayton Town Hall, Ridgecrest Town Hall and Vidalia City Hall will be closed Monday, as well as the Concordia Parish courthouse offices.
All banks will also be closed.
Concordia Parish public schools and Huntington School will also observe Labor Day as a vacation day. Concordia Parish Library branches will be closed Saturday, August 30, and Monday, September 1.
Labor Day marks the final long holiday weekend of summertime and with it will come extra patrols of Concordia Parish highways and waterways.
The Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office will increase its patrols Friday, August 29, through late Monday night, Sept. 1, targeting drunk drivers and speeders, as well as seat belt violations for adults and children.
On the parish's lakes, CPSO boat patrols will monitor those operating boats and jet skis, watching primarily for safety violations, especially those involving excessive speed and/or alcohol consumption -- a fatal combination.
"This is the last big holiday that folks will be enjoying during the summer of 2008," noted Sheriff Randy Maxwell. "We want everyone to celebrate safely and we really want them to be aware that our officers will be out in force to make it safe. Please watch out for others on the roads and the lakes."
Maxwell added, "The Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office wants to get the word out that drunk and impaired driving is a violent and, far too often, deadly crime that we cannot afford to overlook in our parish. It's time to address drinking and driving as a serious issue that costs our nation millions of dollars each year in lost time, lost property and, most importantly, lost lives. The greatest tragedy is that deaths due to impaired driving-related crashes are preventable -- these are not 'accidents'."
The sheriff noted that drunk driving is one of America's deadliest crimes. In 2005, nearly 13,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
Maxwell pointed out that drunk driving is simply not worth the risk.
"Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant," he added. "Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work, and dozens of other expenses."
"And, should your drinking and driving cause injury or death to an innocent driver, passenger or pedestrian, the tragic ramifications are unending for that person's family as well," Maxwell added.
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