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Back-to-School, Labor Day Mean Increased Police Patrols, Sobriety Checks

With students about to return to school and the Labor Day holiday approaching, the Westport Police Department is launching a campaign aimed at increasing student safety and preventing alcohol-related accidents. schoolbus082404260.jpg
This bus on Post Road East reminds drivers school begins Sept. 1 Ron Malone for WestportNow.com

Classes begin in Westport Sept. 1 and in the days leading up to that date, police will operate additional radar and selective enforcement details in school zones and along commuter routes, according to Lt. Dale E. Call.

In addition to the extra patrols, offices will follow elementary grade buses for the first three or four days of school, he said.

Coinciding with the stepped up student safety drive is a “You Drink and Drive, You Lose” public education campaign targeting impaired drivers.

Beginning Friday and continuing through Sept. 12, Westport police officers will be out in full force to stop impaired drivers, Call said.

Although Westport police are always on the lookout for impaired drivers, during this campaign officers will also conduct saturation patrols and set up sobriety checkpoints, he said. Violators will be subject to immediate arrest.

The first announced sobriety checkpoints will take place Saturday, Sept. 4 on Post Road East, the Sherwood Island Connector, or Riverside Avenue, an announcement said.

“Motorists passing through the area will be briefly interviewed by officers at the checkpoint,” it said. “If a violation is detected or if a further interview is warranted, motorists will be directed to a secondary interview area.”

The announcement said while driving under the influence violations are the primary focus, other violations will be enforced.

As part of the back-to-school safety campaign, motorists are reminded to be aware of children walking or riding bicycles to and from school, as well as those entering and exiting school buses.

Motorists are also reminded to be ready to slow and stop for school buses that are displaying flashing yellow or red signals. The penalty for passing a stopped school bus is a $450 fine.

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