MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - While your out celebrating this holiday season, don't forget our local local law enforcement won't be taking a holiday. Police will have more eyes out on the roads in an effort to keep you and your family safe.
Drunk driving is the leading cause of fatal crashes in South Carolina. In fact, about 40 percent of fatal crashes involve someone who was impaired. With that being said, local law enforcement is teaming with South Carolina Highway Patrol to stop drivers from getting drunk behind the wheel.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is in the midst of the 2014-2015 Christmas and New Year Sober or Slammer. The enforcement blitz started December 11 and runs through New Year's Day.
Local agencies, including Myrtle Beach Police, are joining in on the force.
"We're going to be out there looking for those DUI's, but we do that every night, everyday," said Myrtle Beach Police Department Traffic Division Supervisor Sgt. Jim Allen. "We will be out there and we're going to target the DUI's, big time."
They're working to make Myrtle Beach a safer place not just for drivers but bicyclists and pedestrians. They've been collaborating with the city to add more crosswalk and pedestrian signs, and really bring awareness to defensive driving. Police say the numbers show, their hard work, is paying off.
Last year, this time, there were 23 traffic fatalities. Sgt. Jim Allen says that is the most he has seen recorded since he has been with the department. Of those fatalities, one was driving a moped, two were on motorcycles, seven were pedestrians. Now, as the year winds down, the fatality number sits at two. No, it's not zero, which is the target number, but police say they'll push, until they get there.
"We're on board with the state's Target Zero. We are doing our best to reach that goal and continue to hang on to it," said Sgt. Allen. "It just requires the public doing what they're supposed to do."
Highway patrol says we need to avoid the "Big Three," drinking and driving, speeding or not wearing a seatbelt. Typically, at least one of those factors is involved in every fatality.
This time of year traffic picks up and so do celebrations. Police plead, if you're going to go out to celebrate, just be responsible.
Its simple, plan your way home, before you head out. If you can't find a designated driver, there are options, you can call a friend or a Cab.
Diamond Cab is offering free cab rides home from the bar. There's no catch. From now through New Year's Day, if you drive to a bar and have one too many, give the bartender your keys and have them call the cab. A driver will pick you up and take you home for free.
To contact Diamond Cab: (843) 448-8888
If you see an impaired or reckless driver, police urge you call *HP, it will put you in contact with an officer, who can help.