New initiative to combat DUI crashes

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow (CAST) Coalition is on a mission to reduce the number of DUI crashes. The mission will start Wednesday night.

According to CAST, there is a growing trend in the number of DUI crashes in Horry County. From 2007-2009 there were more than 1,200 DUI crashes, 58 of those resulting in fatalities.

After receiving thousands of dollars in federal grant money, the coalition was formed. It is a countywide effort that includes local and state law enforcement, the solicitor's office, the school district, and Shoreline, which is part of the county's health services.

The money is going toward more public safety checkpoints and putting more officers on the streets targeting drunk drivers. Part of the initiative is also to educate businesses throughout the county that serve alcohol on how they can help prevent drunk driving.  Jessie Marlowe is with the CAST Coalition and says efforts to catch drunk drivers will be present throughout the county.

"Checkpoints will be conducted in the evenings and at night and they will be conducted throughout multiple locations in the county," says Marlowe.

Right now as part of this new initiative, they have checkpoints and saturation operations scheduled through June. According to Marlowe, they want to extend this effort beyond this summer.

"We definitely want it to occur at least for the next couple of years. But, we also want to develop a sustainability plan to where this can go even beyond the grant and it can continue on for years down the road."

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