COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Department of Public Safety announces plans to focus on impaired driving enforcement as the summer winds down. SCDPS is partnering with local
law enforcement agencies across the state to launch the annual Sober or Slammer! impaired driving crackdown, which began August 20 and runs through the end of Labor Day, September 7.
The campaign includes high visibility enforcement and public education efforts aimed at curbing collisions and fatalities.
With the Labor Day Southern 500 race at Darlington, the beginning of college football season, and families enjoying one last weekend trip, SCDPS is urging caution on the roadways.
“Motorists should expect increased traffic and congestion in areas of the state as people make their way to the beach and mountains for the last long weekend of summer,” said SCDPS
Director Leroy Smith. “Our troopers are placing a strong emphasis on impaired driving enforcement. We ask you to help us by calling *HP if you suspect an impaired driver.”
Since Memorial Day, 218 people have died on South Carolina roadways in traffic crashes, which is up from last summer when there were 181 people killed during the same time frame. As of August 20, 581 people have died on South Carolina highways for the entire year, compared to 476 highway deaths during the same period in 2014.
“Alcohol remains a factor in too many of these deadly crashes,” said Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver. “That is why our troopers are partnering with other agencies for stringent DUI enforcement
efforts surrounding Labor Day.”
The latest DUI statistics show that 335 people died on South Carolina roadways in 2013 as a result of an alcohol-involved crash. From 2009-2013, the state averaged 344 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities – a 22.7 percent decrease from the 2004-2008 period when the state averaged 445 deaths.
SCDPS recently announced a new Target Zero Team of 24 troopers who will work 16 of the deadliest stretches of roadways in the state. DUI is one of the primary focuses of this dedicated, proactive enforcement push.
The department is making additional efforts to get the word out about Labor Day, including:
- Using SCDOT message boards that will display “Statewide DUI Crackdown in Progress” bulletins, urging the motoring public to report drunk drivers by calling *HP or *47;
- Television commercials, billboards, social media, and alternative advertising, such as anti-DUI warnings on ice boxes, gas pumphandles, and box trucks.
Last year, law enforcement officers in South Carolina, including troopers, made more than 23,000 DUI arrests. The South Carolina Highway Patrol made 14,000 DUI arrests
The SCDPS Sober or Slammer! campaign is part of the nationalDrive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The effort includes state and local law enforcement agencies across the country. The campaign combines high-visibility enforcement with
heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.
SCDPS also encourages the public to join the Target Zero conversation and let us know what you, your family or organization is doing to make our highways safer by posting to
social media and including #TargetZeroSC and visiting the new Target Zero website, www.sctargetzeroplan.org to
take the pledge to help end fatalities in our state.