According to Mother's Against Drunk Driving, 40-percent of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Many of those occur during holiday periods such as New Year's. With this in mind, drivers are being reminded not to drink and drive!
"This is the one preventable crime," said local MADD member Brenda Snowden. "People drink and then they choose to get behind the wheel of a car and drive. So, it's totally preventable."
This year nine people were killed in traffic accidents in Lauderdale County. Of those, seven involved impaired drivers. With this and the fact that this year more than 700 DUI arrests have been made in the county, officials say drinking and driving is a problem.
A problem which law enforcement officials say they will address.
"All of our men's days off are cancelled. They're going to be working for the New Year's holiday," said Lt. Ralph Smith with the Mississippi Highway Patrol. "Last year we had a new law passed where we lowered the DUI limit. It was .10, it's now 0.08 for anyone over 21. For anyone under 21, it's zero tolerance and that's 0.02. Anything over 0.02 and you're going to JAIL!"
"If they're under 21, they can't purchase it, possess it or consume it. The best thing to do is get away from it," said Major Ward Calhoun with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department.
"We are not telling people don't drink because that's not our right," said Snowden. "We're telling them don't drink and drive!"