FLORENCE, SC – Each year, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office partners with departments in the Pee Dee and law enforcement agencies throughout the state to set up DUI checkpoints to take drunk drivers off the road.
The program is part of what’s called the Law Enforcement Network, and the summer checkpoints started Friday night.
For most people, going through a checkpoint is smooth sailing. You present your driver’s license, registration, and you’re on your way. For others, not so much.
“Well, I was just running to the store, ran into the road block, my baby wasn’t in his car seat. Hey, this (ticket) is the price you get when you don’t have a baby in the child restraint,” said Crystal Lee.
While car seat violations aren’t the night’s main concern, officers say safety is.
Major Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office says he’s been working with the network for almost ten years, and in his time as an officer, he’s experienced his fair share of DUI related incidents.
“I can’t tell you the emotion that a police officer goes through when they have to pull a dead child out of a vehicle or a seriously injured individual as the result of a drunk driver. As law enforcement officers, people expect us to be able to put that in a box and move on and be our cheery self, but it just doesn’t happen,” said Nunn.
Nunn says that’s why these checkpoints are important, and why twenty different departments from around the state are working them.
“We take this very seriously. The traffic fatalities this year in South Carolina are up. We take that very seriously. We’re out here tonight to try to do something about that and to reduce those incidents of drunk driving fatalities. The most preventative crime that there is, is drunk driving,” said Nunn.
Officers say in the checkpoints they check for a valid driver’s license and look for any signs of an impaired driver.
The Law Enforcement Network program is part of the South Carolina Target Zero initiative to prevent DUI accidents.
Nunn says the officers will continue to be conducting the checkpoints throughout the summer to help keep you safe.