SC begins 'Sober or Slammer' campaign in time for holiday season - FOX Carolina 21

SC begins 'Sober or Slammer' campaign in time for holiday season

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Terry Taylor's desk has photos of his son and his friends and a bumper sticker to remind drivers not to drink and drive. (Dec. 12, 2013/FOX Carolina) Terry Taylor's desk has photos of his son and his friends and a bumper sticker to remind drivers not to drink and drive. (Dec. 12, 2013/FOX Carolina)
Troopers are on the look out for drunk drivers this holiday season. (Dec. 12, 2013/FOX Carolina) Troopers are on the look out for drunk drivers this holiday season. (Dec. 12, 2013/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

With Christmas and New Year's Eve around the corner, law enforcement agencies across South Carolina want to urge everyone not to drink and drive.

Troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the holidays are one of the most dangerous times of the year because of an increase in drunken drivers.

And troopers want to warn everyone that they will send drivers to jail it they are caught drinking and driving.

Troopers are asking everyone to do their part to stop drunken driving by calling *HP if you see a drunken driver or by taking the keys from someone who has been drinking.

"They were running alongside the road, doing what they were supposed to be doing, and an impaired driver came in behind them, hit them and put four of the boys in the hospital," said Terry Taylor.

Taylor knows all too well the pain and suffering drunken drivers can cause. His son Zachary was hit by one back in 2000, along with three other members of the Wade Hampton High School track team who were out running. All of the boys were severely injured but survived.

Now Taylor works with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to keep accidents like his son's from happening.

"This time of year especially, it's one of the most deadly times of the year. There's more traffic, and there's more people drinking and driving," Taylor said.

Troopers agree with Taylor. They've kicked off Sober or Slammer, a promise to drunken drivers that if they get behind the wheel, their next stop is jail.

"As we speak, people are attending holiday parties and business parties and luncheons, and in addition to the holiday cheer, we know that one common theme is present - and that is alcohol," said Capt. Michael Warren.

Warren said the Sober or Slammer campaign and other anti-drunken driving efforts have been effective. He said in 2012, 27,000 people were arrested on driving under the influence charges, and so far, 104 fewer people have died on South Carolina roads this year compared to last.

But Warren said he wants the number of fatalities to be zero, and so does Taylor.

"Drunk driving is a conscious choice. The car becomes a weapon when you are impaired and don't have control of your judgement," Taylor said.

Troopers said they will have extra officers on the roads and will be strategically placed to catch impaired drivers.

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