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Funds will bolster patrols

With Labor Day weekend a mere handful of days away, local law enforcement was awarded more than $75,000 to continue the statewide “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” campaign against drunken driving.

Gov. Bob Riley awarded the grants to the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission to support the Southwest Alabama Highway Safety Office, which works with law enforcement agencies in Marengo, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Monroe, Washington and Wilcox counties.

“Extra patrols and strengthened enforcement efforts serve as a strong reminder to drive safely,” Riley said. “I commend the dedicated officers across Alabama who save lives by removing dangerous drivers from our roads.”

The funds are part of $1.4 million in traffic safety grants announced by Riley this week to support the operation of nine highway safety offices throughout the state. The offices work with local law enforcement agencies to reduce injuries and deaths by increasing enforcement of the state’s DUI, speeding and seat belt laws.

The grants help cover overtime pay for police officers and sheriff’s deputies during special enforcement campaigns conducted over holiday weekends and other busy travel periods. Enforcement efforts include sobriety checkpoints and focus on areas where a high number of crashes have occurred.

The grants also will help the safety office to coordinate traffic safety awareness and child passenger safety education campaigns throughout the region.