HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - We are in the middle of the deadly days of summer – the time of the year every time you drive, you're at a higher risk of getting in an accident – especially if you choose to drink before you drive.
New research shows two out of three people in the US will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime, if drunk driving continues at its present level. That's an almost 70 percent chance one of those people could be you. Whether you're out at a local bar, have friends in town or are headed to a barbeque, the summer means more drivers on our roads, so the risk for a DUI crash is high.
Drink and drive and you pay the price. The Horry County Sheriff's Office has more saturation patrols this year, and say, all roads are fair game.
"We are aware of those back roads, we are aware of those side streets we are aware of these locations where DUI arrests are occurring and target those areas," Sgt. Jeff Benton said.
Highway patrol troopers are also keeping you in check, handing out about 631 tickets for DUIs in Horry County already this year. Keep in mind, a ticket is only part of the price you will pay, you could face serious jail time.
While you should never drink and drive, if you do decide to have a drink, how do you really know if you're at the legal limit to drive?
The National institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism wants to help you. It recommends no more than one drink per hour with water in between each. To help you figure out how much booze is in your cup, cocktail content calculators are available online: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/ToolsResources/CalculatorsMain.asp
The calculator shows common drinks or, you can plug in your own recipe. This is one of five calculators created by the institute, others calculate calorie content and alcohol spending. While these can be helpful, officers say they don't account for many factors that could impact intoxication.
"Weight, how much food content you've had that day, what type of drink you've had that day, so is somebody gonna actually do that while they're sitting out having a good time and drinking alcohol, I think the answer to that question is no and that's why the simple decision is if you have an alcoholic beverage, don't drive the car," Benton said.
The cost could be a life. This issue hits home in Horry County. According to South Carolina Department of Public Safety, last year, there were nearly 500 DUI crashes, this year already, there has been 259 accidents.