GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- Starting Friday you might notice more law enforcement patrolling the highways, especially around popular vacation destinations and high-collision areas.
Some people are trying to get that last vacation in before the end of summer.
Whether you’re heading to the beach or the mountains, South Carolina’s Public Safety Department is urging people to be safe.
“It’s always about saving lives and that’s what we’re here for,” Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis said.
Officials say from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there’s consistently been a higher number of traffic deaths in the state.
As of August 16, the Department of Public Safety says there have been 631 traffic deaths this year in S.C.
That’s why troopers are cracking down on getting impaired drivers off the road.
“We’re about a little over 90 fatalities down this year as opposed to this time last year, but of course our goal is 0,” Hovis said.
The Director of South Carolina’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving Steven Burritt says he hopes this will help save lives.
“The fact that they’re ramping up their efforts, that they’re going to be sending the message all across the state and all across the community that they’re going to be out there looking even more frequently,” Burritt said.
However, he says the decision to get behind the wheel while impaired, can be avoided.
Burritt said, “It’s never been easier to make the decision to get home safely. We have rideshares, we have law enforcement officers, friends and family.”
Troopers say the penalty for a DUI is dependent on the number of offenses someone has. It could mean a minimum fine of $400 or potential jail time.
State and local law enforcement will also participate in multi-state joint public safety checkpoints.