HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Tuesday is the start of the Sober or Slammer campaign. The focus is to prevent impaired driving deaths and collisions during the holiday season.
Corporal Sonny Collins with South Carolina State Highway Patrol says DUI fatalities are on the rise. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety website, nearly half of all crashes in the state involve an impaired driver. The site also states that nearly 27,000 DUI arrests were made in South Carolina last year.
The Sober or Slammer campaign emphasizes getting impaired drivers off the roadways. But it also is a reminder to drivers to be more vigilant during the festive holiday season.
Collins says people are off of work and out of school. That boosts the likelihood of going to party, game, or office events where drinking will be involved. This campaign involves state troopers and local law enforcement.
"If you're going to be going to a social event and you know you're going to be drinking, make sure you're going to have a plan in place," says Lt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach Police. "Make sure you either have a sober ride home or you have a taxi cab available to call. Make sure you have someone who can get you home safe and sound so you're not on the roadways."
As a defensive driver, you should always be aware of what drivers around you are doing. Most impaired drivers are either overly cautious or reckless. Some signs to look out for to spot an impaired driver include swerving, driving well below the posted speed limit, using high beam lights, stopping without apparent cause, following too closely, or changing speeds rapidly.
According to the SC DPS website, more crashes involving alcohol happen between 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. But DUI arrests are made all week long, any hour of the day. Collins says it's easy to think that someone is swerving during the day because they're on a cell phone, but they could be impaired. That is why they encourage you to call *HP if you see anything suspicious at all.
A kickoff event to the holiday Sober or Slammer campaign will start at 11:00 a.m. at Coastal Carolina University.