Over the Limit Part One - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Over the Limit Part One

DUI Checkpoint DUI Checkpoint

Drinking and driving and DUI related accidents are familiar scenes on Mississippi highways. 

"You have consumed too much alcohol tonight, you are going to be placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated."

These are things that drivers never want to hear, but when you drink and drive, law enforcement agencies are doing their part to keep the roadways safe this holiday season.

"Anytime we can get an impaired driver off the roadway that's one less potential for a fatality that a family member may have to deal with," said Lamar County Sheriff's Department Maj. Brad Weathers.

According to MADD.org, in 2012, 10,322 people died in drunk driving crashes, and around 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes in the United States.

Counties in the Pine Belt have seen their fair share of DUI related deaths.

"That's why we are out there now, we are trying to curb that and be seen and hopefully just our presence deters that from occurring," said Weathers.

In 2012, Mississippi had 179 drunk driving fatalities, which was a 13 percent increase from the previous year according to MADD.org.

Local agencies set up DUI checkpoints, as well as work officers overtime for DUI patrols on city and county roadways to curb drunk driving and save lives.

Drivers are often given multiple tests to prove their sobriety, some of which include the one-leg stand, the walk and turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

Sometimes, drivers fail.

It's with numbers and statistics like these that have officers working overtime to keep the roadways safe.

"All it takes is a family member to come driving down that roadway at the wrong time, hit head on and it could be a potential for a fatality," said Weathers.

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