State troopers increase presence to crack down on drunk drivers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

State troopers increase presence to crack down on drunk drivers to prevent crashes for Fourth of July

Bumper to Bumper traffic as people head to the shores. Source: WMBF News. Bumper to Bumper traffic as people head to the shores. Source: WMBF News.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – For Fourth of July, officials were cruising the city and county streets looking for violators from drunk drivers to criminals trying to enter an empty house.

"When it comes to moving forward into the big fourth of July night and really the whole week, we just want to keep it in people's minds that we need them to do the right thing,” Highway Patrol Lieutenant Sonny Collins said.

There have been 445 crash fatalities in South Carolina through June this year compared to 460 people killed on the road over the same time last year.

Bringing things closer to home, highway patrol reported 45 crash fatalities through June of 2015 in Horry County compared to 29 fatalities through of June of this year.

"If people see us constantly out on these major roads, we know the continuation of seeing a trooper out will make you drive better," said Collins.

While the Fourth of July is named as one of the most deadly holidays, officers said officials are doing more than being visible on the roads.

"Through social media, through commercials, through billboards, it's just a way to try to keep that in the back of your mind, 'Hey if I go out tonight and I plan on drinking alcohol, then I need to be finding a different way home,'” Collins said.

South Carolina Highway Patrol is continuing the Target Zero campaign this year by trying to keep accident numbers and fatalities to go down, but troopers say law enforcement cannot do it alone.

"Our target is for zero fatalities as we move through these holiday periods, July Fourth is no difference, that what our goal is," Collins said. "And of course we also need to remember, wear your seat belt, drive the speed limit, put your cellphone down, those little things can cause issues on our roadways just as drinking and driving."  

If you are out on the roads and see someone driving dangerously or acting out of the ordinary. Call either *HP or 911 immediately.

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