SC State Troopers Beef Up Enforcement for DUI and Reckless Driving
South Carolina law enforcement officials say that they will begin increasing traffic enforcement this Wednesday, July 3rd, in anticipation of a long holiday weekend with higher potential for DUI and reckless driving.
Because Independence Day falls on a Thursday this year, many people will likely take Friday off, and have a five day weekend. This means there will be an extra day of travel, high traffic, and also drinking – meaning there could be more DUI and reckless drivers.
The state’s Department of Public Safety says that holiday driving often begins the evening before the holiday – in this case, Wednesday night – and runs through the end of the weekend on Sunday.
Troopers say they will increase enforcement in an effort to prevent collisions from reckless driving and DUI.
Public Safety Director Leroy Smith says that this year, there have been 75 fewer traffic-related fatalities than this time last year.
AAA added that the lower number of DUI and reckless driving accidents and deaths could be because there are fewer people on the roads. The group predicts that, with a slightly shorter holiday weekend (July 4th was on a Wednesday last year), and much higher gas prices, fewer people will be willing to drive at all, cutting down on aggressive, reckless driving, and DUI accidents.
Still, AAA predicts that 470,000 South Carolinians will drive this July 4th holiday.
Lexington County Focusing on Preventing DUI and Reckless Driving
Lexington County, which leads the state in DUI-related accidents and deaths, has cut that rate in half already this year with stronger DUI enforcement. This time last year, DUI deaths already numbered 32; this year, that number is down to 15.
“Unfortunately we were able to receive this funding based on the high number of DUI crashes in the county,” said Caroline Humphries with CAST – Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow Task Force, partnered with Highway Patrol and the Lexington Sheriff’s Department. That grant allowed Lexington County to set up more DUI checkpoints, pay overtime for extra officers, and educate bar owners about over-serving customers.
“We found three major areas, the level of enforcement of DUI, the level of the risk of getting caught for DUI,” said Humphries. “We found that those numbers were relatively low through a community survey and also the over service to intoxicated patrons.”
“15 people is still far too many people to be killed and the fact that 80% of them are alcohol related again shows that we still have a good bit of work to do,” said Major John Allard with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
If you Drink and Drive, the Strom Law Firm Can Help You with Your DUI and Reckless Driving Case
If you face DUI charges, whether it is your first charge, or felony DUI, you could feel alone and afraid. Just because you drink and drive, especially if you are not the designated driver, does not automatically mean that you are guilty. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have helped people who face DUI charges since 1996. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us for help today. 803.252.4800.