Holiday means DUI crackdown

Published 10:47 pm Saturday, August 16, 2008

With Labor Day weekend approaching all law enforcement agencies will be working to take intoxicated drivers off the streets.

Patrols will run from Aug. 15, to Sept. 1, in a nationwide effort to keep drunk drivers off the roads, according to a press release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The focus is not only on operators of cars, but any vehicle including motorcycles, the release states. Patrols will be looking for people operating vehicles with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.

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In 2006 the number of accidents involving alcohol at or above the legal limit that led to fatalities was highest with motorcycles, 27 percent. Light trucks and passenger cars followed with respectively lower percentages, 24 and 23 percent, the release states.

Picayune Police patrols will be looking for drunk drivers every day during those dates, said Picayune Public Information Officer Capt. Theresa Milar.

“Cause there’s drunk drivers out during the week as well as the weekends,” Milar said.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department patrol commander Capt. Kelvin Stanford said extra county patrol will be implemented Aug. 28 through Sept. 1, where deputies will be looking for intoxicated drivers. Grants will help pay for overtime in all departments involved in the extra patrol.

A number of check points will be implemented in the local area during this campaign. In the county deputies conduct random checkpoints at Miss. 26 coming from Bogalusa and Stone County, Miss. 53 and Miss. 43 South from Hancock County, U.S. 11 from Louisiana and various back roads, Stanford said.

In the city officers will be setting up random checkpoints at locations such as Miss. 43 North and South, Memorial Boulevard, U.S. 11, North and South Beech Street, Jackson Landing Road, East and West Canal Street and various back roads and side streets, Milar said.

Deputies and officers will also be looking for traffic, drug and other violations. Stanford said out-of-state tags will be on each deputy’s list. He said the time is up for new residents to get county tags. Officers will be looking for seatbelt, traffic, and drug activity during patrols in addition to DUIs, Milar said.

Stanford asks citizens to report possible drunk drivers to the department at 601-798-5528. While he would like the reporting civilian to keep the suspected drunk driver in sight, he asks them to keep a safe distance.