Police gearing up for safety on the roads this New Year's Eve - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Police gearing up for safety on the roads this New Year's Eve

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Law enforcement agencies in the state of South Carolina are amping up their safety efforts this weekend.

In the 78-hour period of New Year's weekend, seven people were killed in traffic crashes last year. 

Starting 6 p.m. Friday night, law enforcement will be cracking down on drunk drivers across the state.

"While other people are making party plans to ring in the new year, we are looking at our DUI arrests and crash data and fine-tuning our enforcement plans to ensure our resources are exactly where they need to be," said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. "With the holiday falling on a Tuesday, people are likely to take another long weekend, which can involve a dangerous combination of celebrations, alcohol and extended travel."

Since the SC Department of Public Safety kicked off the Sober or Slammer campaign on Dec. 14, 35 people have died on South Carolina roadways. 

"New Year's eve is not a holiday for troopers," said Col. Mike Oliver. "We know visibility makes a difference. If people know we are out in large numbers, they tend to adjust their driving behaviors. Our troopers will tell you that your very best insurance policy on the road is your seat belt and a designated driver."

The SC Department of Transportation is also supporting the Sober or Slammer campaign.  The agency is allowing "DUI Crackdown" messages on portable message boards across the state.

SCDPS encourages motorists to call *HP or *47 if they see someone they suspect is driving impaired.

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