Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2014

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Police stepping up patrols for drunken drivers

Updated Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 | 1:53 p.m.

Police are increasing patrols for drunken drivers today through Sept. 7 in conjunction with the Labor Day holiday.

“Law enforcement agencies statewide are reminding motorists and motorcycle riders to celebrate the long weekend responsibly and to never drive or ride impaired,” the Nevada Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

Nearly a third of fatal crashes in Nevada involve impaired drivers, officials said. Last year, 131 motorists and 53 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in Nevada.

According to the latest AAA travel forecast survey, more than 2.5 million Mountain West residents will travel 50 miles or more this Labor Day weekend, and more than 2.1 million of those will drive. The total number traveling represents an increase of 0.6 percent compared to last year.

The Mountain West includes Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Nationally, AAA projects just over 34.7 million people will travel 50 miles or more during the Labor Day weekend, a 1.3 percent increase compared to 2013.

Arizona transportation officials, meanwhile, are warning motorists traveling on Interstate 15 in the northwest corner of Arizona over the Labor Day weekend to expect traffic delays and to allow extra travel time.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says delays of up to two hours have been reported on the section of I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge on previous holiday travel weekends.

The gorge is located in the corner of Arizona between Nevada and Utah.

The department says construction crews won't be working in the area during the holiday weekend but says I-15 narrows to one lane in each direction at a bridge construction project about 20 miles south of St. George, Utah.

The project includes the replacement of the bridge's superstructure and widening the highway through the gorge.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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