Sober or Slammer: S.C. Highway Patrol to be out in full force on New Year’s weekend

Sober or Slammer: SC Highway Patrol out in force targeting drunk drivers during NYE

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Everyone is excited to put 2020 in the past, but if you plan to celebrate make sure to do so safely.

South Carolina Highway Patrol is making sure people stay safe on the roads over the holidays with their “Sober or Slammer” campaign.

The campaign began the week before Christmas and now they’ll turn their attention to the New Year’s weekend.

Master Trooper Brian Lee said they’ll have DUI checkpoints. Lee added troopers will also be on the interstate, highways and back roads cracking down on drunk drivers.

The Highway Patrol won’t be the only agency keeping our roadways safe as several other departments are also taking part in the campaign.

“The Hartsville Police Department, the Darlington Sheriff’s Office, the Florence Sheriff’s Office, whoever it may be, it’s a time to come together because we have the same common goal and that goal is to make sure everyone is safe and gets home safely,” said Lee.

Lee said this time last year there were over 1,000 crashes statewide, and many of them were alcohol-related.

Before making the decision to drink and drive, Lee wants people to know there will be consequences.

“The consequences are going to be, you’re probably going to end up in jail, you could lose your job and you’re definitely going to pay higher insurance,” said Lee.

A DUI might not only land someone in jail, but it could also put a dent in their wallet.

“By the time you get an attorney, by the time you miss from work, a tow bill, your insurance is going to go up, SR 22. All that stuff kicks in and a $15 pack of beer could cost you $12,000 to $15,000,” said Lee.

Lee said if you expect to be out this weekend make sure to have a plan. Use a designated driver or rideshare, and if you’re hosting a party, make sure there’s a plan to get your guests home.

Most of all, Lee wants people to make good decisions and enjoy themselves responsibly

“We’ve heard it, you’ve heard, and people have heard it over, over and over, but we want it to hit home, we want everyone to have a safe and happy new year,” said Lee.

Drinking and driving won’t be the only thing troopers will be looking for. Lee asks people to watch their speed and put their cell phones down while driving.

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