Holiday DUI dangers on the most dangerous weekend of the year

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Local law enforcement take precautions during what was last year’s most dangerous weekend on the road. 

Myrtle Beach Police Department and AAA urge drivers to have more awareness now through New Year’s Eve as impaired drivers put many at high risk.

“We always see an increase, generally around the holidays, with increased travel and that’s statewide,” Myrtle Beach Police Department spokesperson Cpl. Tom Vest said.

Crashes and deaths continue to increase this month as more people attend events where alcohol is served.

The best thing for drivers to do right now is… “Be patient, be alert, especially when you are out at night but the best thing we can ask for people to do is have a plan before you go out,” Vest tells News13.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) reports more than 1,200 collisions, 16 deaths and 550 injuries during the 2018 New Year’s holiday weekend. That’s an increase compared to any other weekend, likely linked to drinking and driving, according to SCDPS.

“That is an unnecessary risk to themselves and other roadway users. It’s not a good idea. Just because you think you can doesn’t mean you should,” Vest said.

AAA recommends anyone who witnesses or suspects impaired driving activity to take action by calling 9-1-1 to provide a license plate number and vehicle details. 

With New Year’s celebrations just around the corner expect countdowns, toasts, party horns and… more police out patrolling the streets.

“We always step up enforcement on New Year’s Eve. The goal is not to put a lot of people in jail. We just want people to see us out enforcing the law so that nobody drives drunk that night,” Vest said.

Myrtle Beach Police Department will join the South Carolina Department of Public Safety to step up enforcement with extra officers on the roads to spot impaired drivers this New Year’s Eve.

“Don’t drive drunk, have a plan, and get home safety. We have ride shares, taxis, that are available. Please use them,” Vest said.

Drivers are asked to do their part to schedule a safe ride home if they plan to drink this holiday weekend and New Year’s Eve.

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