Pine Belt daytime DUIs are common - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Pine Belt daytime DUIs are common

By Mike McDaniel - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Often thought of as a nighttime activity, driving under the influence is a common daytime offense, according to Hattiesburg Police.

Sergeant Synarus Green said, as in Wednesday morning's crash on Hwy. 49, it's a common misconception to think drivers in the daytime are safer.

"The likelyhood of accidents occurring during the daytime associated with drunk driving is just as high if not higher in some cases in the daytime as it is at night," said Green.

Just across the state line in Mobile, Alabama physical education teacher and former teacher of the year, Suzanne Morrison was arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol while in route to work.

"People should be cautious to know that just as many people who are driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance at night time are also on the road during the daytime. It's not only alcohol, there are also other drugs, people who are on prescription medications," said Green.

Pine Grove addictionologist Scott Hambleton knows the abuses of alcohol and says any driver could be on the road and under the influence.

"I would say most people are probably naive to that fact, so it's always advisable to be extremely vigilant while driving," said Hambleton.

"These accidents are still happening, these accidents are devastating in nature and people are dying from them," said Green.

Green said Hattiesburg police look for the same behaviors of drivers under the influence in the daytime just as they do at night.

"Some of our patrol officers have made arrests of people who are driving under the influence during the daytime, but it hasn't appeared to be a huge problem recently here," said Green.

Although statistically not a prevalent problem in the Hub City, Green says it happens and urges drivers to look out for other drivers who may not be looking out for you.

"The sad thing about what really brings home that we should be concerned about how we're driving and make sure we're not allowing impaired drivers to be on the street doesn't come into play until there's a fatality or there's some kind of tragic accident," said Green. 

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