Over the last few years, South Carolina has experienced both a consistent increase in drivers on the road and an increase in traffic violations during the Summer months. This is due to a few reasons: (1) out of state drivers vacationing in the area (2) high school-aged drivers spending more time on the road and (3) the increase in alcohol consumption associated with time spent at the beach.
In terms of traffic fatalities, the span of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is by far the most dangerous. Throughout (roughly) those 100 days, South Carolina has experienced an average of 223 deaths per year for the last few years. During this year’s Memorial Day weekend, there were fatal collisions in Kershaw, Aiken, Florence, Horry and Spartanburg counties, resulting in the most deadly Memorial Day weekend the state has encountered in the last three years.
In an attempt to end or at lease decrease Summer traffic fatalities, law enforcement officials have substantially increased their presence through DUI and seatbelt checkpoints. Checkpoints in York County alone resulted in 10 DUI arrests, 180 seatbelt citations and over 300 warnings just during Memorial Day weekend. Other counties also set up checkpoints along major roadways and increased their overall task force.
These changes are partially a result of South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s “Target Zero” campaign initially launched in 2004. “Target Zero” (better known by its slogan, “Sober or Slammer”) was established with the intent to restructure police into an “Enforcement Network.” This “network” is split up into subdivisions that are manned by a coordinator who routinely meets with officers to check in on traffic trends, improvements and problems. The program was also provided a grant, resulting in more mobile blood alcohol testing centers.
Law enforcement officials throughout the state are also paying closer attention to boaters and boat operators. While open containers are banned in automobiles but not on boats, boat drivers are not allowed to operate one while under the influence of alcohol. In fact, most jurisdictions use the same sobriety tests for automobiles as they do vessels. To read a report and commentary regarding boating DUIs in the Myrtle Beach area, click here.
If you or someone you know has been arrested on DUI charges, contact Miller|Conway, Charleston DUI Lawyers, immediately to set up a consultation. You can reach us via phone at 843.764.3334, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, or visit the firm’s website for more information.