Photo Gallery | Sober or Slammer: DUI Enforcement Campaign is Focus of Labor Day Initiative
On Thursday, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety held a news conference in Columbia announcing that state and local law enforcement agencies will conduct sustained enforcement and public education efforts to prevent drunk driving as the 100 Deadly Days of Summer wrap up with the Labor Day holiday weekend. The increased DUI enforcement effort will run from August 17 to September 4.
“Nearly half of South Carolina’s fatalities each year continue to be DUI-related. That is why we are enlisting the public to help be our eyes on the highways and combat this problem by calling *HP if they suspect an impaired driver,” SCDPS Director Leroy Smith said. “In 2011, South Carolina law enforcement officers made 28,466 DUI arrests. We can only imagine the number of lives saved and injuries averted due to many of those arrests.”
SCDPS is using alternative routes to get the message out about this deadly driving behavior. Motorists will be seeing the faces of real South Carolina DUI victims on box trucks, gas pump handles, billboards and convenience store windows urging motorists to call *HP (*47 ) if they see someone they suspect is driving drunk.
The father of Kia Waters, who was killed in 2007 and is one of the photographs used in the alternative advertising, said that he hopes when others see Kia’s face it will remind them to think twice about drinking and driving.
“It is extremely important to me and my family to stay involved with the Sober or Slammer campaign to help prevent others from having to experience the grief that we had to go through,” said Jim Waters. “Kia was -- without a doubt -- an angel on earth put here to touch the hearts and lives of others. Even though she is no longer with us physically, she is still with us by touching the hearts of all who see her beautiful picture on the side of the trucks and gas pumps.”
For the third year, SCDPS will air a two-part TV commercial that depicts the consequences of driving impaired. The two 60-second spots, created by Fisher Communications, are the latest in the award-winning “DUI” series.
The new installment involves a DUI resulting in death – a fact that occurs on average once a day in South Carolina. Nationally, one person dies about every 50 minutes due to DUI. In 2010, more than 10,000 people nationwide died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 51 minutes. Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost an estimated $37 billion annually nationwide.