Sober or slammer

By: 

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety announced this week the beginning of a strict impaired driving enforcement effort from now through New Year’s holiday. SCDPS is releasing a new public service announcement that focuses on the “consequences” of a drunk driving charge.

SCDPS held a news conference to remind motorists of the “costs” of drunk driving and announce the new emoji commercial, which will begin airing statewide on Dec. 14.

The new TV commercial is a follow-up to the emoji commercial that originally aired during the Labor Day media campaign. This new spot illustrates the aftermath of a DUI arrest and the steep legal, professional, and personal consequences of driving while impaired.

The new commercial catches up to the driver from the original commercial as he arrives for his court appearance and again, features SC Highway Patrol Trooper Sgt. Bob Beres as the trooper.

“We want people to consider the cost of drunk driving before their holiday celebrations,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “The effects of a drunk driving charge can linger for years to come and can create a significant financial hardship – not to mention the very serious risk of taking someone’s life.”

SCDPS and local law enforcement agencies statewide will combine efforts to combat impaired driving during the Sober or Slammer holiday crackdown, from December 16 to January 3. The goal of the campaign is to lower the number of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities and increase compliance with the state’s DUI laws.

“Making our roadways safer begins with what goes on inside each and every vehicle on the road,” said SCHP Col. Mike Oliver. “Our very best resource for preventing collisions -- especially DUI-related ones -- is YOU.”

In 2015, 10 people were killed on South Carolina roadways over the Christmas holiday travel period (Dec. 24 - 27, 2015). According to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 301 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the state during 2015.

A DUI arrest can create a significant financial burden. The following are just a few of the areas where a person charged with DUI can expect financial hardship.

• Motor vehicle insurance fees

• Court fees

• Attorney fees

• Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP)

• Bail bondsman

• Vehicle towing

• License reinstatement fee

Other DUI costs can be more long-term including loss of employment (due to the DUI charge itself or not having a license to get to work) and time off from work fighting the charges, increases in life insurance premiums and/or losing a professional license.

SCDPS continues to encourage motorists to call *HP or *47 to report suspected drunk drivers before they can do any harm to themselves or others on the road.