Officers from 70 agencies step up for July 4

Alabamians are getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, and law enforcement agencies are preparing to work overtime through the weekend to remove dangerous drivers from the roads. Officers from 69 police and sheriff's departments are joining with Alabama State Troopers to target drunken drivers and other violators by conducting sobriety checkpoints and additional patrols.

Funding for the extra patrols comes from grants awarded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to the Department of Public Safety and nine regional traffic safety offices. ADECA awarded $1.6 million to support efforts to reduce vehicle injuries and fatalities throughout 2013 and an additional $400,000 for extra enforcement during the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays.

Other special traffic enforcement efforts this year include the Memorial Day "Click It or Ticket" seat-belt campaign and the Labor Day "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs caused 220 fatalities on Alabama highways in 2011, according to the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama.