Heading into the first major holiday of the year, authorities are alerting drivers that they are adding patrols throughout the extended Memorial Day weekend.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) lists the official holiday travel period from 12:01 a.m. Friday through midnight Monday.

"Memorial Day weekend is a popular time for road trips to the beach, lake or other warm-weather hot spots," ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said. "With the public's assistance on Alabama roadways and waterways we all can have fun, as well as get to and from our destinations safely."

Taylor said all available ALEA highway and marine patrol troopers will be available for duty throughout the four-day period.

Local law enforcement agencies also will have a prominent showing.

Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler said they've been having additional officers available for patrols since schools have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have extra patrols now because we're using school resource officers," Tyler said.

He said additional patrols are planned on top of that for the holiday. If motorists obey the laws, those officers won't have to pull over anybody.

"We'll step up our traffic visibility on the highways," Tyler said. "It would make me happy if everybody would just drive carefully in a situation that doesn't draw our attention.

"We don't want to ruin anyone's holiday," he said. "We want everyone to be safe, and from time to time that involves a citation or arrest for a DUI.

"Hopefully, our presence just reminds everybody that we're out and about and looking for violators, so everybody can just keep it simple and obey traffic laws."

Taylor reminds everyone to remember the Alabama Department of Public Health’s safety guidelines designed to battle the spread of COVID-19. Those include using social distancing in all public places and between people from different households.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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