Friday, May 24, 2002
Steamboat Springs Having a great time with friends and family over the Memorial Day weekend is something local police officers do not want to see ruined by a lack of good judgment and planning.
"We want people to have a good time but be responsible," Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing said.
Fiebing said there will be plenty of police officers working during weekend to handle the increase in traffic because of the additional visitors in town. The main objective, he said, will be to crack down on people driving under the influence. He said on all major holidays, there are always some people who drink and drive and put themselves and others at risk.
"Anyone who drinks and drives is just plain stupid," he said. "It's cheaper to rent a helicopter and stay at the nicest hotel than get a DUI."
The Steamboat Springs Police Department will have saturation points where a sufficient number of officers will be available to handle the additional volume of traffic in select areas. Fiebing said it is a cross-section of tourists and locals that contribute to law violations. Even though there will be an additional 4,000 to 5,000 people visiting the area, it is not enough to warrant a checkpoint, Fiebing said.
In addition to the support the Police Department will provide to crack down on drinking and driving, the department is participating in the America Buckles Up Children program for the weekend.
Fiebing said the department will use extra diligence to crack down on teen-agers driving without their seat belts. He said that motor vehicle accidents are the largest cause of death in people ages 15 to 20. Just wearing a seat belt, he said, would save the lives of many young adults caught in accidents. Fiebing said he hopes kids understand the importance of buckling up and plan their weekend safely.
"As a society, we get used to things when we shouldn't. I wish parents would talk to kids," he said.
With Memorial Day weekend kicking off the beginning to summer activities, Fiebing said police officers will be working as hard this weekend as they do every weekend.