San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies were busy over the long holiday weekend. In fact, the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign began on Aug. 17 in an effort to get late-summer drunken drivers off the road.

Locally, Sheriff’s officials say they made nearly 500 traffic stops over the period and arrested 17 people for drunken driving.

“First and foremost, our goal is to protect the citizens of this community, so we’ve been spreading the message about the dangers of drunk driving for years,” said San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos in a prepared statement. “We hope that with each ‘Drive Sober’ campaign, more people listen and our drunk driving arrests decrease.”

Labor Day is traditionally a deadly time on American roads. In 2018, authorities counted 439 fatal crashes over the three-day Labor Day weekend. Forty-three percent of those fatalities involved drivers who had been drinking, and more than a third of the drivers were legally drunk, according to a Sheriff’s release.

Law enforcement has noted that age is a factor too. Among those between the ages of 18 and 34, 47 percent of drivers were drunk.

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