SCHP hopes emoji campaign reduces drunk driving

SCHP hopes emoji campaign reduces drunk driving

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A local bar is doing its part to take a stand against drinking and driving to help save lives in support of South Carolina Highway Patrol's Sober or Slammer campaign.

The manager at Señor Frogs says signs of over-intoxication will be handled quickly because responsibility comes from both sides: responsibility of being a responsible drinker, and then responsibility of serving properly.

"We identify who's under 21 by putting a bright yellow wristband that glows in the dark. That way we can identify who's under and who's not," said Señor Frogs Manager Carol Loredo.

Because the liability weighs heavily on bars, owners and managers said people must know their limits. And if they don't, they have a team to make sure nothing dangerous happens.

"We have a security company that helps us out," Loredo said. "We walk them out the door, we give them some water, bring them to the taxi stand, we make sure they get home safe."

A lapse of judgement on either side can be deadly. According to Highway Patrol,199 people have been killed on state roads this summer, down 14 percent from 231 last summer. But one death is one too many.

This year, Highway Patrol is hoping that by speaking the language of social media through emojis that number will continue to fall.

"The emoji is something everyone understands. So when you're riding down the road and you see that billboard of beer plus a car equals a police car being pulled over, well that goes for everyone in South Carolina, no matter what language you speak. You understand that billboard," said Highway Patrol Corporal Sonny Collins.

So along with billboards and signs, law enforcement hopes to spur change with a new video using emojis. Before you hit the bar, troopers hope you watch the lighthearted video but take it as a serious message.

"Bartenders, those establishments, they are a player in the game. They understand to not serve someone who is obviously intoxicated. But it comes down to the driver, the driver has to make that decision," Collins said.

Law enforcement has a simple message - before hitting the road, don't make a decision that could turn deadly.

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