With busy Labor Day weekend, troopers launch crackdown on speeders & drunks

DES MOINES — The last travel weekend of the summer season is before us as Iowans venture off for the Labor Day holiday.

State Trooper Paul Gardner says the Iowa State Patrol has launched a campaign it’s calling, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” “That’s to combat OWIs and we’ll also focus on speed, seatbelts and distracted driving as well,” Gardner says. “We will have troopers working overtime and also officers with other departments working overtime as well this Labor Day weekend.”

He says Labor Day has proven to be a deadly holiday in Iowa in recent years.  “Labor Day of 2020, we had 13 fatalities statewide and 10 of those were related to drunk driving,” Gardner says. “In 2021, we had nine fatalities statewide and six of those were attributed to drunk driving as well.”

State troopers will be monitoring the fans attending the opening weekend college football games in Ames and Iowa City — and they’ll be fanned out along all of the interstates.  “If you’re out celebrating and that involves consuming alcoholic beverages, please get a designated driver or a family member or friend to get home safely,” Gardner says. “We just want to avoid these types of crashes because, obviously, in the last couple of years over Labor Day weekend, it is proven to be very fatal for those who are under the influence.”

Call 5-1-1 before departing on a long trip to get updates on road construction, major accidents and other potential slowdowns, or log on to: 511ia.org.