(The following message was issued by the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office as a press release on Tuesday.)
Not only does springtime bring warmer weather, budding flowers and trees and, of course, annoying pollen, but it is also the time for springtime events. St. Patrick’s Day, spring break and the Carolina Cup draw thousands of people to watch horse races and to party.
Along with that, comes the consumption and over consumption of alcohol. Invariably, there are those who get wasted and make the decision to drive on our roadways, endangering themselves as well as others. Vehicle crashes that are the result of drunk or otherwise impaired driving result in terrible carnage on our roadways, and innocent men, women and children die or are horribly injured in many of these crashes.
With that in mind, the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) and S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) will begin increased traffic enforcement during the times of these events. Last year, 19 people died driving the roads in Kershaw County. Numerous others suffered life altering injuries in car crashes. Compare that to one person murdered in Kershaw County in 2017.
Increased DUI enforcement over the past years has greatly reduced the number of DUI related fatalities, but deputies and troopers continue to make a significant number of DUI arrests.
A DUI arrest takes a drunk off the road and likely saves lives for the moment. It also results in legal fees in the range of $3,000 to $5,000. A conviction will result in a large fine and hefty insurance premium increases. If a person is driving drunk and kills or seriously injures someone, a felony DUI arrest is warranted. Now you are talking big money and possible prison time.
So, if you want to be guaranteed not to be hit with massive legal fees, don’t get behind the wheel and drive while drunk. Before partying, arrange for a designated driver. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. Family members don’t let family members drive drunk. Don’t get in the car with anyone, friend or family, who is drunk. Call a sober friend or a sober parent. It’s just not worth it to drive drunk.
If you choose to drive drunk, KCSO deputies and SCHP troopers will do their best to ruin your day, but in the process possibly save your life. Our goal is no traffic collisions and no DUI arrests. Last year at The Cup, we all made numerous traffic stops and encountered more than normal designated drivers. That’s a good thing. That’s what we want to see. Granted, we made lots of open container cases, but the DUI arrests were down.
So, strongly consider being a responsible citizen and don’t drive while impaired. You will save lots of money and avoid a night in our luxurious county jail.