COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Public Safety kicks off its “Drink. Drive. Die.” Sober or Slammer! campaign today through Labor Day, September 2, with increased enforcement and paid media to curb impaired driving as people celebrate the last days of summer.
The period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is typically one of the deadliest times on South Carolina roadways and is referred to by law enforcement as the “100 Deadly Days of Summer.” As summer comes to a close, preliminary statistics are showing about a 19 percent decrease in fatalities this summer compared to 2018. So far in 2019, 188 people have died traveling South Carolina roadways since Memorial Day, compared to 232 in 2018.
In the weeks prior to Labor Day, state and local law enforcement agencies will intensify their efforts to crack down on drunk driving and reduce DUI-related traffic deaths in South Carolina. Each year, state and local law enforcement partner for an impaired driving crackdown that runs as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. The goal is to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities caused by motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
“Labor Day weekend is the official end of the summer travel season and law enforcement is ready for increased traffic during this time as people make that last trip to the beach or the mountains,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “We are reminding the public in advance that SCDPS troopers and officers will place a strong emphasis on DUI enforcement so that everyone can have a safe end to the summer season.”
Highway fatalities as a whole are also down for the entire year compared to last year at this time. Since January, 583 people have died compared to 636 last year at this time.
A new public service announcement featuring the “Drink. Drive. Die.” concept was created for summer 2019, and features a group of young adults drinking together at a bar. Instead of driving home, they make the decision to call a rideshare service. The ad will air on social and digital media, connected television, cable television, and cinema advertising through Labor Day. In addition to the PSA, print and digital billboards have been posted statewide, and a radio commercial will air in select markets.
SC Highway Patrol urges motorists to call *HP or *47 if they see someone they suspect is driving impaired. Signs can include: driving erratically; weaving in and out of lanes; driving too fast or too slowly; crossing the center line or briefly drifting off the roadway.
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, Immigration Enforcement Unit 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.