An anti-DUI law enforcement effort was unveiled Thursday in the Sober or Slammer campaign that South Carolina Highway Patrol is kicking off heading into the holidays. The Department of Public Safety is partnering with local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to kick off the Christmas and New Year’s Eve enforcement effort.
SC Department of Public Safety Director Mark Keel gave some statistics during Thursday’s news conference.
Within just a few weeks before the end of 2010, South Carolina’s on pace to have fewer than 800 traffic fatalities this year, and that’s something that hasn’t happened in our state since 1982.
Keels said South Carolina’s DUI traffic fatalities remain high compared to the national average.
Last year, alcohol impaired driving fatalities accounted for nearly two of every five traffic fatalities in South Carolina, and that’s far more than the nation as a whole. Nationwide, 32 percent of fatalities are due to drunk driving. While in South Carolina, 42 percent of our fatalities result from drunk drivers.
The state’s new DUI law took effect almost two years ago and DUI arrests have gone up dramatically each year. Col. Kenny Lancaster of the South Carolina Highway Patrol:
This year the South Carolina Highway Patrol, … we’ll arrest over 15,000 DUI’s this year…just from the Highway Patrol’s side. Let me repeat that, 15,000 this year. That is a 72% increase from 2006.
Troopers will be out in force in an effort to crack down on drunk driving during the holiday season. Checkpoints will be set up throughout the state.