"DUI is a careless disregard for human life. DUI is a crime," said Mark Keel, S.C. Public Safety Director, "and we can all be crimefighters, not just men and women in uniform." Concerned citizens who call *HP (or *47) on their cell phone to report a drunk driver are fighting crime, just as a sober person who says to a friend, 'I'll take the keys tonight.'"
DUI-related crashes dropped slightly this year in both Horry and Georgetown counties. Drunk driving is the leading cause of traffic deaths in the state, safety officials say.
Increased patrols and enforcement, as well as new TV ads are some of the efforts designed to reduce the number of people driving under the influence and without seat belts through the holiday weekend. The department is working with police statewide to increase patrols and run checkpoints, officials said.
In Horry County, police have responded to 195 DUI-related crashes this year through August 18, and arrested 792 motorists for DUI. In that period last year, 199 DUI-related crashes were reported and 908 were arrested for DUI. Public involvement is key to fighting the problem, authorities said.
In addition, authorities will be patrolling area waterways cracking down on boaters under the influence (BUI) this Labor Day holiday as well.
"Even if you beat the odds and survive an impaired-driving crash," said Keel, "be aware that the consequences of driving drunk can still place a heavy burden - financially and otherwise - on you and your family."
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