South Carolina Department of Public Safety


December 15, 2017
Contact: Your Local CRO, 803-896-8144



Drunk Driving Tears Families Apart

COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Department of Public Safety kicks off the enforcement component of the Christmas/New Year’s Sober or Slammer! campaign to combat impaired driving and reduce highway fatalities and injuries.


The enforcement period will continue through January 1, 2018, New Year’s Day.


Troopers and local law enforcement agencies will conduct public safety checkpoints and intensify enforcement efforts to find and arrest anyone driving while impaired.


“We must all work together to lower highway fatalities in our state and reach our goal of Target Zero. Law enforcement is working to end drunk driving fatalities through enforcement and education,”  said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “But there is a third component that is critical to ending impaired driving deaths – you. We depend on every driver to make the right decisions. That could mean designating a sober driver or calling *HP to report suspected drunk drivers.”  


Preliminary figures indicate that, as of December 15, 2017, 921 people have been killed in traffic crashes this year, compared to 975 killed during the same time period last year.


In 2016, eight people were killed on South Carolina roadways over the Christmas holiday travel period (Dec. 23, 2016- Dec. 26, 2016). According to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 331 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the state during 2016.
Sober or Slammer! public education efforts include a TV spot, revisiting the agency’s classic “Highways or Dieways” campaign, as well as outdoor advertising and paid social media. Paid Facebook ads include the TV spot and a graphic emphasizing the consequences of DUI by showing a family member who is missing as a result of drunk driving.


“The South Carolina Highway Patrol is encouraging motorists to realize that the decision to drive after drinking has consequences that could not only affect themselves, but their families and other drivers on the road,” said Col. Chris Williamson.


SCDPS launched the public education campaign at 11 a.m. on December 13, 2017, with a Facebook Live event at a public safety checkpoint in Columbia, featuring SCHP Trooper Sgt. Bob Beres, joined by other SCHP Troopers and local law enforcement, including Lt. Derek Miller of City of Columbia PD and Cpl. Mickey Johnson of Richland County Sheriff’s Department.


“Over 900 times [this year] we had to go to somebody’s house and ring that doorbell and tell them their loved one is not coming home,” Sgt. Beres said in the video. “When I pull up to somebody’s house, I always look at my watch and I tell myself in three minutes I’m going to walk up to that front door and these people will never, ever be the same.”


A recording of the Facebook Live Event can be viewed on the agency’s Facebook page,, or by clicking the following link.


South Carolina’s Sober or Slammer! campaign runs concurrently with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign conducted by NHTSA.

For more information on the Sober or Slammer! campaign, visit the website at

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, Immigration Enforcement Unit and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.
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