Law enforcement continues crackdown on speeders, drunk drivers

ADDISON COUNTY — Law enforcement agencies have been busy this month trying to make area highways safer, and they will continue with extra efforts through Labor Day.
Vermont State Police and other law enforcement agencies ran some saturation patrols in Addison County in an effort to reduce speeds, monitor distracted driving, enforce traffic laws and remind the public of the importance of wearing seat belts.
State police patrols were conducted:
•  On Aug. 16 during the morning on Route 7 in Addison County. A total of 13 vehicles were encountered. During the late afternoon, troopers shifted the saturation patrol to Route 22A in Addison, Bridport, Panton and Shoreham. They stopped 10 vehicles and issued three traffic tickets and seven written warnings.
•  On Aug. 17 during the late day on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh. Troopers stopped eight vehicles, issued seven traffic tickets and one written warning, and cited one man for driving under the influence.
•  On Aug. 19 during the mid-day hours on Route 7 in Middlebury and New Haven. Police stopped four vehicles and issued one traffic ticket and three written warnings.
The Addison County Sheriff’s Department joined with state police working out of the New Haven barracks, Shelburne police and the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 19 to conduct a saturation patrol in the towns of New Haven, Vergennes, Panton, Waltham and Ferrisburgh from 7-9 p.m.
After that, the team conducted a Sobriety Checkpoint on Route 7 near the intersection of Route 22A until 11 p.m.
During the checkpoint, police made contact with 520 vehicles, and 1,300 people. As a result, officials arrested one person for driving under the influence of alcohol, one for driving under the influence of drugs, and one for possession of marijuana greater than two ounces. Police report that the person cited for possession had three and a half large Mason jars and one large plastic bag full of marijuana, and, according to police, admitted to trying to sell it at the cider festival.
A sheriff’s deputy said individual agencies that made the arrests would release details on who specifically was arrested.
Also on Aug. 19, between 9 and 11 p.m., Vermont State Police joined with police from Vergennes, Killington and Fair Haven, and deputies from the Addison County and Rutland County sheriff’s departments to conduct a checkpoint on Route 7 in Leicester. Police stopped 266 vehicles including 665 occupants, screened 13 people for impaired driving, searched two vehicles with consent of the driver and took one driver into custody for driving under the influence.
These high visibility patrols will be continuing throughout the Addison County area in an effort to improve safety on public roads.
The Northwest Vermont DUI Task Force combined efforts with the Addison County law enforcement agencies (Vermont State Police; Vergennes, Bristol and Middlebury police; Addison County Sheriff’s Department, and the DUI Task Force) on Aug. 18 kicked off a Labor Day DUI enforcement campaign.
The Labor Day DUI campaign is part of a national mobilization sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the national campaign message is “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Campaign activities in Vermont are funded through the Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP).
The campaign runs through Labor Day, Sept. 4. Law enforcement agencies across the state will increase both saturation patrols and checkpoints with funding from GHSP. The goal is to combat impaired driving over the last holiday of the summer and to raise awareness that students are heading back to school.
It is hoped that these combined efforts will help to remove impaired drivers from our highways and reduce the number of serious injury and fatal crashes occurring on Vermont’s highways.

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