In its push to target drunken drivers over the 4th of July weekend, the S.C. Highway Patrol made 342 DUI arrests, the patrol announced today.
That total includes 54 arrests by the newly formed trooper DUI team.
Last year during the same holiday weekend, the entire highway patrol made a total of 250 DUI cases.
During the recent 4th of July weekend, troopers also issued 4,687 citations for seat-belt violations over the weekend. That compares with 3,453 citations during the same weekend last year.
Last week, responding to the carnage caused by drunken drivers on state roads, troopers and the S.C. Department of Public Safety announced a crackdown.
“Drunk driving has plagued this state for years,” Highway Patrol Col. Kenny Lancaster said. “South Carolina consistently leads the nation in deaths caused by people getting behind the wheel drunk.”
In 2008, approximately 920 people were killed on state roads. Of the deaths, 54 percent were alcohol-related.
Lancaster said the new anti-drunk driving team is a permanent fixture in the patrol.
-- John Monk