You Drink, You Drive, You Lose

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Law enforcement is on the lookout for drunk drivers especially during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

"You lose," said Sheriff Billy Sollie.

It's the name of the effort that the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department and the Meridian Police Department are putting forth to make the roads safer this holiday season and the result if you're caught driving under the influence of alcohol.

"If they're found to be too impaired to be operating a motor vehicle, they'll be brought down to the station, go through the booking process, the intoxilyzer process," said Meridian Police Officer Donald Jenkins. "They'll spend several hours at the county jail before they're allowed to make bond. State law requires five hours."

It's not only local law enforcement working overtime to keep the peace on the roads. "You drink. You drive. You lose" is a national mobilization of police and sheriff's departments and state highway patrols.

"All MHP, Lauderdale County Sheriff, Meridian Police, all DUI officers between city and county work well hand in hand," said Jenkins. "We're all STORM certified, Sobriety Trained Officers Representing Mississippi. Everybody basically wearing a badge is looking."

In 2001, 282 lives were lost in impaired driving related accidents in Mississippi. That's why local efforts have been doubled to reduce that number.

"Throughout the holiday season, we'll be throughout Lauderdale County conducting these checks to be sure the motoring public is conducting themselves in a safe manner," said the sheriff.

So if you're planning to be on the road through New Year's, expect to see more of this type effort, trying to keep you safe.