Florence police officers recognized for DUI enforcement efforts - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence police officers recognized for DUI enforcement efforts

Source: Audrey Biesk Source: Audrey Biesk

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina recognized officers with the Florence Police Department for their efforts to stop those who were driving under the influence in 2016.

The DUI Hero lapel pins are issued by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs for the officers who are committed to preventing impaired driving.

Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler presented Lt. Mark Mims with a Bronze Hero lapel pin for making 10 DUI cases, along with Patrolman. Sam Ervin for 39 of the department's 181 DUI cases in 2016.

"This represents only a snapshot of the effort the men and women of the Florence Police Department give every day," said Lt. Mike Brandt, spokesperson for the Florence Police Department. "We are extremely proud of our officers, especially of Patrolman Ervin and Lt. Mims, for their efforts to keep Florence safe."

Mims, who is the only drug recognition expert instructor at the FPD, said he trains through the police academy on a statewide level.

The training is in addition to being able to identify impaired drivers through the commonly-known horizontal eye test, walk-and-turn and the leg test.

Mims said his calling is to stop the senselessness of DUIs. 

“It takes people away from their families," he said. "It’s a tragedy those folks won’t be at the dinner table for the holidays, birthdays or other things like that. So, I do my part to prevent those tragedies." 

Mims added he has done field sobriety testing, and drug recognition and impairment classes for almost 15 years. That training will come in handy, as the 100 deadly days of summer begins this Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day.

“Typically in South Carolina, we see the fatalities and crashes go up because people are out of school, people are on vacation, people ... have more free time during the summertime," he said.

Mims said his job is to save lives and get impaired drivers off the streets before a tragedy occurs.

Florence police will conduct traffic safety DUI checkpoints the entire Memorial Day weekend, in addition to increased patrol.

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