A Division Of The
Department of Public Safety
Public Information and Education Division - PO Box 568 - Jefferson City, MO 65102

For further information please contact: Capt. John J. Hotz
Q8232023 (573) 526-6115

August 23, 2023
EMPHASIS: Include Safety In Your Plans For Labor Day Weekend

Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, encourages everyone to plan for a safe 2023 Labor Day weekend. Whether you are on the water or on the road, it’s everyone's responsibility to travel safely and observe all Missouri laws. Never operate a vehicle or vessel while you are impaired. Alcohol affects your judgement, reaction time, vision, coordination, and comprehension. The movement of the boat, vibration and noise from the boat’s motor, sun, and wind are all boating stressors and enhance the effect of alcohol on your body. If alcohol is part of your water activities, drink responsibly, and never operate a vessel if you’ve consumed alcohol.

The 2023 counting period for the Labor Day holiday will be from 6 p.m., Friday, September 1, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 4, 2023.

The Labor Day holiday is a busy boating weekend. Before you take your boat on the water, inspect fuel lines and hose connections for leaks, and test the battery to confirm it is charged. When refueling, turn off any electrical devices which could create a spark. After refueling, open the engine compartment to visually inspect and smell for fuel leaks. Activate the blower system for at least four minutes before restarting the vessel.

In 2022, there were eight boating crashes which included one fatality and five injuries. One person drowned over last year's Labor Day holiday. Troopers arrested five people for boating while intoxicated during last year's counting period.

Marine enforcement troopers will be working to make our waterways safer during the holiday weekend. Missouri’s boaters are asked to do their part by remaining alert for other boats and swimmers and being courteous on the water. Smaller vessels should yield right-of-way to larger vessels. Boaters should avoid overloading their boat with too many passengers and always pay close attention to the boats around them. Causing harm to another person or their property with an excessive boat wake may subject you to enforcement action or civil liability. Treat other boaters and property owners as you want to be treated. Be courteous and follow all of Missouri’s boating laws. Remember: Life jackets save lives. Wear one when you are on or around water.

If you'll be on the road this Labor Day holiday, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition before you depart. Drive courteously and obey all of Missouri's traffic laws. Remember to buckle up and pay attention as you travel.

Help ensure a safer Labor Day weekend for everyone.

In Missouri, seven people died and 398 were injured in 1,041 traffic crashes over the 2022 Labor Day holiday. This means one person was killed or injured every 11.5 minutes. Troopers arrested 121 people for driving while intoxicated during last year’s holiday weekend.

The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Speed, inattention, and impaired driving are leading causes of traffic crashes. All available troopers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways and waterways. Troopers on the roadways will be enforcing Missouri’s speed limit, seat belt, and impaired driving laws, in addition to being available to assist motorists.

The public is encouraged to call the Patrol's Emergency Report Line (800) 525-5555 or *55 on your cellular phone if they witness criminal activity or experience an emergency. These emergency numbers are operational for both highway and water emergencies. If your celebration includes alcohol, designate someone else to drive whether you are in your boat or your car. Please don't become a statistic.

Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri. The choices you make when you’re behind the wheel matter. Make good choices, so you’ll never have to say, “If I could just go back …”

Follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Twitter @MSHPTrooperGHQ