FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Florence County Sheriff's Office is increasing its law enforcement presence to crack down on drunk driving during the holiday season.
"We understand this is a festive time to be with family and friends and celebrate and enjoy the holidays," Florence County Sheriff's Maj. Mike Nunn said. "Our concern is that while doing so, someone will be impaired and get behind the wheel. That's what we don't want to happen."
Last year, there were over 331 DUI-related deaths in South Carolina, with Florence County a priority on the state's list of high DUI incidents.
With the holidays being the most traveled period of the year, Nunn said that just as the traffic will increase, so will law enforcement.
"You're going to see an increase of officer presence on the roadways. That's to help keep folks safe," Nunn said. "That's to help drinking and driving and hopefully we can reduce the number of fatal crashes in Florence County and around the state."
Along with an increase in law enforcement, the FCSO and other authorities will conduct traffic safety checkpoints to detect impaired drivers.
Nunn said all of the efforts are important to helping save lives.
"Not only checkpoints, but the other enforcement efforts are important because if we can keep one impaired driver from harming themselves or, God forbid, other individuals, then we feel like we've done our job," he said.
It's not just local law enforcement's responsibility. The sheriff's is asking for residents' help in looking out for drivers who may be under the influence.
"There's only six of us that's specially focused on traffic enforcement at the sheriff's office, but there are thousands of citizens that are out on the road that can find an impaired driver, who may be going down the road on their way home and they can see an impaired driver, so we're going to ask people to help us take the drunk drivers off the road," FCSO Lt. Anthony Fox said.
If residents see someone who may be driving under the influence, they are asked to call the FCSO or 911 immediately.