Over the Labor Day holiday weekend, deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office spent extra time patrolling the roads on the lookout for intoxicated and distracted drivers, according to a press release.

Partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other state law enforcement agencies across the state, deputies worked special overtime, federally funded, and administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation. During the special overtime, deputies focused on child seats and fitting station referrals, texting and speed, and impaired driving.

Over the weekend, 33 hours were spent on DUII enforcement, which resulted in two drivers being cited for driving under the influence of intoxicants, one for driving while suspended, along with five other citations, 33 warnings, and three arrests.

Twenty-five hours were spent on traffic safety enforcement issues like seat belts, texting, and distracted driving. Deputies issued 15 seat belt violations, nine child restraint violations, five distracted driving violations, 28 speeding violations, 26 other types of violations, and two violations for driving while suspended.

Deputies also used the period to educate drivers about a new law that is intended to keep drivers focused on the road and encourages them to put away any distractions.

Oregon House Bill 2597 will go into effect Oct. 1 and makes holding or using an electronic device — like a cell phone, tablet, GPS device, or laptop — illegal while driving.

First-time offenders who don’t contribute to a crash could face a maximum fine of $1,000. The presumptive fine for first-time offenders, however, is $260.

After a driver’s second offense, or if their first offense contributes to a crash, that driver could face a fine of up to $2,500. After a third offense, the driver could face up to six months in jail.

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