Lowcountry law enforcement prepare to keep roads safe on New Years Eve
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - With DUI checkpoints and extra patrols out on the roads, law enforcement agencies will work keep you safe and drunk drivers off the road.
South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Nick Pye says Saturday night is an all-hands-on deck situation and they always have as many troopers as possible out patrolling the roadways.
The three biggest factors in fatal accidents are driving distracted, driving above the posted speed limit, and drinking and driving, Pye says. He emphasizes the importance of having a plan and being safe to celebrate the upcoming year.
“So take the time, put a plan in place, and have fun tomorrow night, we want you to have fun. But time and time again, every year around the holidays, we see the trend of good people making bad decisions. And that decision, ultimately costing them being behind bars, or with someone losing their life,” Pye says.
The Mount Pleasant Police Department plans three checkpoints at specific locations to reduce drunk driving. The locations were determined based on the DUI collision locations and their proximity to bars based on the yearly DUI analysis.
The checkpoint locations begin Friday evening and continue until early Sunday morning:
- Ben Sawyer Boulevard between Chuck Dawley Boulevard and McCants Drive (11 p.m. to midnight)
- W. Coleman Boulevard between Lansing Drive and Shem Creek (midnight to 1 a.m.)
- IOP Connector between Highway 17 and Hungryneck Boulevard (1 a.m. to 2 a.m.)
Mount Pleasant Police Sgt. Ashley Croy says they have an influx of people coming off the islands, to the islands or coming off the Ravenel Bridge, which is a consistent location for DUI accidents.
“We want to make sure everybody gets home, you know, safely,” Croy says. “We want to get violators off the streets. Sometimes we see people that are capable of operating vehicles but legally shouldn’t. And that’s what we need to take off the streets.”
Once a vehicle enters the checkpoint, officers will ask for identification and registration. If the driver complies with the state laws, they will be allowed to go.
Pye urges people to consider using rideshare apps or assign a sober driver to make sure they get home safely. He also emphasizes the importance of wearing a seatbelt.
“You know, time and time again, we still pull people over and they don’t have their seatbelt on, or we work a collision where somebody’s not wearing their seatbelt,” Pye says. “A seatbelt is not going to prevent a collision from happening, but in the event that you are in a collision, you’re going to be glad that you had that seatbelt on.”
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