HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office recently has been awarded a state-funded grant to help prosecute DUI cases in Horry and Georgetown counties.

This is the third time the solicitor’s office has received the $80,000 grant, which goes toward hiring and mentoring a prosecutor who will focus 100% of their time on DUI-related cases.

The grant, funded by DUI fees and fines, as well as some national funds, was awarded by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said Horry County sees about 700 DUIs per year, with about 18 to 20 million tourists passing through.

“You’ve got this slogan that’s always out there, ‘come to Myrtle Beach on vacation and leave on probation,'” he said.

The new prosecutor, Gray Harrison, started on Nov. 1 and recently graduated law school. Richardson said everything Harrison will do will be DUI-focused, such as working trials and training state troopers on DUI-related cases.

Harrison is taking over for now-former DUI prosecutor Jess Glasgow, who had already prosecuted 17 DUI-related trials this year.

Richardson also said the grant provides mentorship opportunities for new attorneys.

“It helps with our office to get training, to get comfortable standing up in front of a jury and in front of a judge and arguing motions on their feet,” he said.

According to Richardson, DUIs are the one crime that is easily avoidable. He said some of the consequences of drinking and driving lead to paying costly fines, getting arrested and possibly having your license taken away.

“Eight dollars or $10 for an Uber or Lyft pales in comparison to all of the embarrassment and the money that is spent with just one poor decision,” Richardson said.

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Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.