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Sober or Slammer Program Running in South Carolina

Just in time for the holidays, the South Carolina Office of Public Safety is rolling out its Sober or Slammer (SoS) program. This is a statewide effort that combines “high-visibility” DUI enforcement with an education campaign that focuses on the consequences of a DUI.

Typical of the program is a public service announcement (PSA) viewable here, showing people locked up because of South Carolina’s zero tolerance policy. Even first time driving under the influence of alcohol or any form of drugs would bring on a $759.50 fine and a six-month suspension of driving privileges.

Also mentioned as part of the program is the eight officer strong, South Carolina Highway Patrol, DUI Enhanced Enforcement Team. Their primary responsibility is selective, concentrated and strict enforcement of DUI laws. That doesn’t mean officers are restricted to patrolling Interstates either. Troopers have jurisdiction statewide but are usually used in counties known to have a large number of DUIs and during the time of day when drinking and driving is most common.

A newer method of detecting and catching drunk drivers comes with the almost universal presence of cell phones in vehicles. Citizens are now quick to call 9-1-1 when they observe careless or reckless driving – often the result of too much alcohol. This enhances the “eyes available” because another driver can easily report a drunk and get police on the scene who will then take over.

While the holiday weekends are prime drinking and driving hunting days, the program will continue to meet overall enforcement and public education objectives in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents related to drinking. Methods of enhanced enforcement include: both marked and unmarked patrol cars in line patrols, area saturations and public safety checkpoints.

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