Police to step up patrols now through New Years Day

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The 15th Circuit Law Enforcement Network held a safety checkpoint Friday night along Highway 501 near the Robert Grissom Parkway intersection.

The checkpoint was conducted from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. During that time, Myrtle Beach Police Master Corporal Shannon Toole says 10 people were arrested, one of those being a fugitive. Also, 15 grams of marijuana were seized, and several other violations were documented - such as seven driving under suspensions.

More than 800 cars passed through the checkpoint,

Friday night's checkpoint is the beginning of what will be stepped up enforcement throughout the state for the next six weeks.

Master Cpl Toole released statistics to WMBF News that stated the holiday season is particularly deadly time because there tends to be a higher number of drunk drivers on the road.

To date, 92 fewer people have died on South Carolina's roads when compared to the same time period in 2012.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Program and Fund Developer Steven Burritt said checkpoints held decrease alcohol-related accidents.

"Research clearly shows that public safety checkpoints when they're done in a very visible manner absolutely saves lives. They're one of the most effective strategies for preventing DUI crashes and fatalities," Burritt said.

Officers say they are planning to beef up checkpoints and saturation patrols beginning Friday through New Year's Day.

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