Authorities Monitoring July 4th Travelers

Law enforcement officials in Mississippi are hoping for a quiet July 4th.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie says with July 4th falling on a Wednesday, many businesses in the area are only letting their employees off for one day, making it hard for them to travel, but making things easier on law enforcement.

"We believe that traffic, interstate traffic is going to be down somewhat," Sheriff Sollie says. "So, we are not going to be employing any additional deputies during this short holiday period."

Sollie says his patrol division will be fully staffed on Wednesday, mainly looking for impaired drivers. He also encourages drivers to buckle up and watch their speed. Sollie tells Newscenter 11 that DUI's are typically more common on long-holiday weekends.

"Correct," he says. "You know, when we have extended holiday periods, that's when we see most of our DUI's. You know, with it just being a one-day holiday, we continue to monitor the roads, but not anything with enhanced enforcement."

Some signs that a driver may be impaired include a vehicle sitting at a stop sign or a red light for an extended period of time. Also, crossing the center line of the road or even running off the road. Sollie says never try and approach a driver you believe to be impaired.

"In a safe distance, monitor the car until law enforcement is able to intervene," Sollie advises.

Mississippi Highway Patrol says it is dispersing an additional 80 officers throughout the state of Mississippi on July 4th.


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