The South Carolina Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies continue to crack down on impaired drivers. Officials say there is a 39 percent decrease in highway fatalities from this time last year.
Sgt. Kelly Hughes with the South Carolina Highway Patrol says one reason people are more likely to get caught is the creation of a 30-member DUI team which focuses solely on impaired driving.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol started a DUI team specifically, that’s all they do is they go out and they look for impaired drivers, full time when they’re working. They don’t handle any costs for service, so that keeps them looking for impaired drivers the whole time they’re working.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol has made over 9,500 arrests so far this year for driving under the influence. That’s a 17 percent increase over the previous year and a 41 percent increase compared to the same time in 2008. Sgt. Hughes says the DUI team has certainly done a lot to contribute to that total.
Since the DUI team has been created, throughout the state they’ve made over 2400 DUI arrests. They started their enforcement July 2nd of 2009, so that obviously contributed to the higher number of DUI arrests.
Sgt. Hughes says that data collected from S.C. Law Enforcement Network indicates that local law enforcement agencies have worked closely with the state to increase DUI arrests.
The highway patrol continues to work with it’s local partners, local sheriff’s departments, local police departments, on enforcement campaigns. And that, as you see, has also worked out well with local law enforcement agencies increasing their DUI arrests. They’ve had over 7,000 local DUI arrests this year as well.
The newest anti-DUI commercial encourages the public to report suspected drunk drivers by calling *HP or *47.
The S.C. Department of Public Safety has begun an enforcement blitz that continues through Labor Day. The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer campaign started Memorial Day.