Archived Story

Law enforcement to increase presence for Fourth of July Weekend

Published 5:40pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014

With the upcoming Fourth of July weekend expected to bring the usual increase of traffic throughout the area, area law enforcement is looking to step up its presence to lookout for any incidents.

Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett is encouraging safety as many commute to the area to enjoy Lake Martin for the holiday weekend.

“Holidays are a time when we do see more people come to our area to enjoy the lake and all the activities that are planned,” Abbett said. “We will be out and visible. We want everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves, but at the same time be mindful of the laws, alcohol use and being safe.”

Cpl. Robert Burroughs with Alabama State Troopers Alexander City post said troopers will step up their presence and be on the look out for drunken drivers.

“We will be using all available personnel to aggressively enforce all traffic laws, particularly concentrating on speeding, DUIs and seatbelt usage,” Burroughs said. “With DUIs, when people don’t have to go to work they’re more likely to drink a little bit more than usual, and that’s where you will see some incidents occur.”

Area traffic will not only increase on the roads.

Sgt. Mark Fuller with the Alabama Marine Police at Lake Martin said Independence Day is probably the second busiest weekend on the lake all summer ranking second only to Memorial Day weekend.

Fuller said marine police will respond in kind to the increase of traffic on Lake Martin.

“We will have all of the field officers in the state working for this weekend,” Fuller said. “We know that people will be there. The issue we have is finding those incidents of BUI. The amount of traffic on the lake will increase significantly. The amount of incidents we have is just based on the number of people we have.”

Fuller added that those on the lake should use common sense and practice safety.

“They should use a designated operator first and foremost. They should also use common courtesy and common sense,” Fuller said. “Boaters should make sure they check their equipment if they plan to be out after dark and make sure their lights are working properly. Children under eight are required to wear a life jacket.”

And with many expected to enjoy ‘The Southeast Largest Fireworks Show’ set for 9  p.m. Saturday from the lake, Fuller said boaters should also be aware of a number of requirements for nighttime boating.

“The only difference from day to night is the light requirement. Their red and green bow lights and their white stern light needs to be visible 360-degrees around the boat,” Fuller said. “They have to be displayed from sunset to sunrise.”