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Drive sober

The Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department will be participating in the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign from August 15 through September 1.

Lt. Joe Quave said the nationwide DUI campaign is sponsored by the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As part of this participation, Quave said the department will have increased officer patrol and safety checkpoints at various times throughout the county.

“The overtime incurred by officers will be paid with federal grant money,” Quave said. “There will be zero tolerance for drunk driving and the sheriff’s department encourages everyone that does drink to get a designated driver.”

According to the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety, last year there were 41 crash-related fatalities in the state of Mississippi and 16 were alcohol related, Quave said.

In a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol impairment among drivers in fatal crashes is four times greater at night than during the day, Quave said. More than 30 percent of drivers involved in fatal weekend crashes are alcohol impaired.

The lieutenant said that most law enforcement departments in Mississippi and throughout the country are participating.

“It’s a yearly program that we have participated in in the past,”Quave said. “There is increased travel on Labor Day weekend and there are more intoxicated drivers. We want to get them off the streets.”

Learn more about impaired driving at www.nhtsa.gov/Impaired.