Officers across the state are increasing alcohol and seat belt patrols from Friday through Sept. 2 to help reduce drunken-driving deaths through Labor Day.
Typically, traffic increases around Labor Day, the Arkansas Highway Safety Office said. Holidays, such as Labor Day, are "particularly dangerous," Benton Police Lt. Kevin Russell said in a statement.
During the 2011 Labor Day weekend, 138 people died in traffic accidents nationwide involving motorists with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Of the 549 deaths in 2011 on state roads, 156 of them, or 28 percent, involved a driver with blood alcohol of .08 or higher, the Arkansas Highway Safety Office said.
Authorities will be working overtime to help crack down on drunken driving and to watch for those not wearing seat belts, the highway safety office said. The statewide effort is a part of the campaigns of "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and "Click It or Ticket."