Plan to drink and drive on New Year's Eve, plan to go to jail

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - If you plan to drink and drive for New Year's you should plan to go to jail.

The Horry County Sheriff's Office believes everyone celebrating on New Year's Eve deserves the right to be safe on the roadways.

The department does not have definite safety checkpoints in place just yet, they will be looking at research and statistics to determine where those checkpoints should be set up, but they definitely know they will be on the roads and highways watching for drunken drivers.

Sgt. Jeff Benton with the Horry County CAST Coalition stated, "There are too many ways that someone can get home if they've had too much to drink; it's as simple as that."

Benton made it clear, law enforcement will not take any excuses nor mistakes when it comes to DUIs this holiday.

"Families and individuals going out as well, deserves the right to bring in the new year, at some location and drive home without worrying that the person next to them is drinking and driving," Benton explained.

A report from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety stated ten people were killed on South Carolina roadways during the Christmas holiday, from December 24 through Sunday, December 28. SCDPS confirmed as of December 28, 804 people have died in highway crashes compared to 762 deaths during the same period in 2013.

Benton said they want to make sure we ring in 2015 as safe as possible.

"Let's make this a New Year's Eve, where there's no driving under influences cases and no fatalities," he said.

Benton said South Carolina Highway Patrol, local and county agencies will be fully staffed, posting up in area you least expect on NYE.

"I assure you, that law enforcement know those shortcuts and back roads too," Benton explained. "That's why you typically see the police will set up on a side road or a back road and not Highway Business 17 or Highway 501.

Benton recommended those who will go out drinking should have a plan in place to get home safe. He suggests carpool to where you are going, even ask for help.

"It doesn't hurt to ask the bartender; tell them to take your keys; because it can save you a life long of financial problems, and freedom as well."

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