Think before getting behind-the-wheel

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 26, 2015

During this time of year, roadways become congested with cars, many heading home for the holidays or visiting family in another town. While the Christmas rush is now behind us, busy roadways won’t let up until after the New Year. From now until the first week of January, law enforcement agencies are urging motorists to drive sober in order to reduce alcohol-related car accidents. Since before Christmas Day, officers in Pearl River County have enforced the law as part of the national campaign called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

During the campaign, officers actively search and arrest drunk drivers in order to decrease the number of alcohol-related car accident fatalities. Law enforcement agencies have increased the number of patrols, set up roadblocks and used different media platforms to educate drivers about the importance of driving sober, according to a press release from the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Benjamin Seibert said they’ve seen a decrease in DUI-related fatalities during the holiday season because of the increase in patrols.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

An officer’s vigilance makes all the difference in the world. Having them out on the streets, especially during this time of year when drinking is more prevalent, means they can catch an intoxicated driver before the driver has a chance to hurt themselves or those around them.

We would like to thank the officers who wake up early and stay up late to ensure everyone reaches their destination safely so that they can spend time with loved ones and ring in the New Year.

We all know officers have families they would like to spend time with during the holidays, but instead they chose an occupation that calls for service to the community.

In order to ensure our interactions with police officers remain friendly this season, avoid drinking and driving. If a person is caught drinking and driving, he or she could face jail time, the loss of driver’s license, fines and other DUI-related expenses, which could total $10,000, according to a press release from the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety.

Driving while intoxicated is not worth it. Designate a sober driver or call a taxi.