COLUMBIA- The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) is stepping up impaired driving enforcement with its Sober or Slammer campaign as the 100 Deadly Days of Summer comes to an end.
The 100 Deadly Days of Summer marks the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day which historically reflects an increase in traffic fatalities. In 2022, there were 14 people killed during the Labor Day weekend with six of those involving impaired driving.
“Every year, we see heavy travel during Labor Day weekend, especially around the coastal areas and large bodies of water,” said Robert G. Woods, IV, Director of the Department of Public Safety. “Expect to see our troopers and State Transport Police officers working together with local law enforcement partners to do our part in reducing collisions and enforcing common violations. We also want to encourage the general public to do their part by obeying the posted speed limits, limiting distractions while driving, and designating a sober driver home if your celebration includes drinking alcohol.”
The annual enforcement began August 18 and will run through Monday, September 4. In addition to the statewide enforcement, state and local law enforcement will also participate in several multi-state joint public safety checkpoints and media events as part of the Hands Across the Border effort. An additional media advisory will be provided with this information so our media partners can participate.
“The Sober or Slammer enforcement period, as well as the Hands Across the Border effort are both initiatives to make the public aware that drinking and driving is a dangerous choice that has consequences,” said Colonel Christopher Williamson, Commander of the SC Highway Patrol. “There are too many highway fatalities each year that happen because someone chose to take an unnecessary risk and drive impaired. That decision cost a life, either theirs or someone else’s. We urge those who go out to enjoy the final days of this summer: Make the right decision and call a sober friend, a taxi, or a rideshare. It’s really that simple.”
Colonel Dean Dill, Commander of the State Transport Police added:
“As more people will be on the road traveling for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, we’d also like to remind motorists to use caution around large trucks and other commercial motor vehicles. Not only do larger vehicles have more blind spots than smaller vehicles, they require more time and distance to stop. Give them room and just know, if you can’t see them, they can’t see you.”
This year, SCDPS has also produced a new public service announcement featuring NASCAR driver Ross Chastain promoting the Sober or Slammer message. In the video, Chastain reminds fans to never drink and drive because everyone has someone in their life counting on them to be there in the future. Fans can view the video on the SCDPS YouTube channel here - https://youtu.be/l3Ip3f63GWw
SCDPS began a joint partnership with Chastain and Darlington Raceway in May to promote the Buckle Up, South Carolina campaign and will continue the partnership for the upcoming Darlington Cook Out Southern 500 race for Labor Day weekend. In addition to signage on and around the racetrack, the new ads featuring Chastain will be promoted on radio, social media, YouTube, and billboards statewide.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.