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|CPSO steps up highway, lake patrols for the Memorial Day weekend|
As Americans pause this weekend to remember our nation's fallen heroes who died while serving their country, the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office will intensify both highway and lake patrols, beginning Friday, May 22, through Monday night, May 25.
The Memorial Day weekend marks the first big holiday weekend of the summer months, bringing more traffic to highways and waterways.
On area lakes, CPSO boat patrols will monitor those operating boats and jet skis, watching primarily for safety violations, especially those involving excessive speed or alcohol consumption.
Sheriff Randy Maxwell points out that in Louisiana, it is illegal for children under the age of 13 to operate a jet ski. It's important to remember too that each person operating or riding as a passenger must wear a life jacket at all times.
"We're urging everyone to be safe on both the highways and on the lakes this weekend," remarked Maxwell. "This is the first big weekend of the summer and there's sure to be a lot of people traveling on the highways and boating on the lakes."
"One accident is too many," he added. "There'll be people driving, boating and swimming all weekend; so we all have to watch out for one another and remember that the top safety hazards are speed and alcohol -- whether it's a boat, car or truck."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and non-fatally injure someone every two minutes.
"If you're found drinking and driving, you will be charged," Maxwell stated.
The Sheriff also reminds area residents that not only are drinking and driving prohibited, but no one in a motor vehicle can have an open alcohol container, according to a state law passed in 2004.
Under the open container law, passengers -- as well as drivers -- are prohibited from having open containers of alcohol in their vehicles. The maximum state-mandated fine is $100 for violation of the open container law.
"Safety is our top priority. Please make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up and if you decide to include alcohol in your festivities, don't have it in the vehicle and please find a designated driver ñ or don't get on the road," Maxwell cautioned.
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