Officers, agencies awarded for DUI enforcement efforts

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - A number of Grand Strand law enforcement officials have been recognized for their patrolling efforts Thursday at the 5th Annual DUI Enforcement Recognition Ceremony in Columbia.

The ceremony, hosted by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, highlighted the state's efforts to rid South Carolina roadways of drunken drivers. More than 300 law enforcement officials and highway safety advocates from across the state converged at the event.

Among the recipients of awards presented by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety:

-  Conway Police Department - Agency of the Year with 101 or more officers

-  15th Circuit from Horry and Georgetown Counties - Law Enforcement Network of the Year

A number of area officers also received special recognition for their DUI arrest efforts, including:

-  Lance Cpl. Jack Johnson, Jr. of the Horry County Police Department (57 DUI arrests)

-  Patrolman 1st  Class Pete Schmidt of the Myrtle Beach Police Department (139 DUI arrests)

-  Sr. Master Patrol Officer Josh Scott of the Conway Police Department (74 DUI arrests)

"DUI enforcement is more than just writing tickets and hauling drunk drivers off to jail," Keel said. "DUI enforcement is really about saving lives. People who drive drunk are road hazards who can kill someone at any moment. But strong DUI enforcement is an effective tool to combat this violent crime. The officers recognized exemplify the best of the best in DUI enforcement," said Mark Keel, director of the SCDPS.

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