Numbers from 2011 show that Mississippi dropped from the 7th to 20th deadliest state in terms of alcohol related fatalities, and the major factor in dropping those rates is the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. With a record of success, law enforcement officials are trying to advise the public so that those numbers continue to decline.
Corporal Andy West, public affairs officer with Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop H, says, "We want to be more proactive as opposed to reactive like normally is the role of a law enforcement officer. What we're asking the public to do is if you drink, don't drive. Make proper arrangements before you drink. Get a designated driver. We're asking the public to assist us in dropping our fatality rates."
Lauderdale County averages three to five DUI deaths per year, and this year alone, the number of those being arrested for driving under the influence is up from last year.
Sheriff Billy Sollie of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department tell us, "We recognize this is one of the deadliest weekends approaching cause it is the end of the summer. Our DUI numbers this year are up dramatically. We want to remind the general public that if you do choose drink, have someone drive you home. A taxi cab is a lot cheaper than a DUI fine."
Law enforcement officers will be out in full force trying to make sure everyone has a safe holiday, but they need all of us to do our parts as well.
"Typically Labor Day is one of the most traveled holidays we have. It's the last holiday of the summer," Corporal West says. "Everybody wants to enjoy the last holiday. We're not promoting and telling people don't enjoy your holiday, don't have a good time, we're just asking that you do it responsibly."
The campaign continues through September 3.