State News

Troopers, local law enforcement team up to prevent DUI

"Sober or Slammer" enforcement begins

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The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) and law enforcement partners statewide will conduct stringent enforcement of impaired driving laws as part of its Sober or Slammer! campaign beginning today and running through January 1. Troopers are encouraging drivers to make a plan now for a safe ride home from parties and celebrations this holiday season.

SCDPS also released a new PSA to coincide with the launch of the holiday Sober or Slammer! campaign, which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO8Cp7lgKYY

The annual Sober or Slammer! Christmas/New Year’s campaign builds on the “Drink. Drive. Die.” messaging that was introduced during the Labor Day Sober or Slammer! campaign. SCHP and local law enforcement agencies also will conduct a series of public safety checkpoints throughout the state during the New Year’s holiday period.

Motorists will see the “Drink. Drive. Die.” messages through many avenues including radio, television, digital billboard, and online/social media advertising emphasizing the serious consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol. This advertising campaign runs as a companion to enforcement. The enforcement emphasis will run through January 1, 2020.

To kick off the campaign, SCHP Community Relations Officers (CROs) in each of the seven SCHP Troops will post videos and information to social media highlighting the variety of options for a safe ride home.

“The holidays should be a time to enjoy family, friends, celebrations and the warmth of the season,” said Highway Patrol Col. Christopher Williamson. “We want to ensure everyone makes it home safely this holiday season, and that is why motorists will see an increase in blue lights during the holidays as we team up with local law enforcement for increased DUI enforcement.”

Col. Williamson encourages motorists to take the following steps to ensure a safe ride home:

  • Designate a sober driver;
  • Use public transportation, such as buses and shuttles;
  • Call a local cab or taxi service, or plan ahead for a taxi. (Some local towing services also offer safe rides home and will tow the driver’s car home for a fee);
  • Downloading and use ride-share apps such as Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, etc.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also doing its part to encourage safe rides and has developed the NHSTA SaferRide app, available for Android and Apple mobile devices (see below). Users can create a profile in SaferRide and may use the app to call a friend or a local cab service for a ride home.

On average, 300 people die each year on South Carolina roadways as a result of impaired driving. 

Sober or Slammer! is a comprehensive DUI enforcement and public education initiative and runs concurrently with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign conducted by NHTSA.

For more information, visit the agency’s Facebook page, or the agency’s website for more links, including a list of SCHP CRO Twitter accounts.

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