Law enforcement hopes to curb drunk driving on Super Bowl Sunday

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Suzie Thomas was with her son, Gregory, when he was killed by a drunk driver.

“A car came down at a high rate of speed” she told 7 News. “He hit Gregory and killed him instantly, or so I’ve been told.”

Gregory was 14.

Thomas said he loved playing tennis, listening to music and learning about cars.

This Super Bowl weekend, law enforcement wants to prevent tragedies like the death of Gregory Thomas.

“There’s Lyft, there’s Uber, taxi cabs, sober designated drivers,” said Trooper Joe Hovis of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. “There are so many ways you can prevent getting into a car while you’re impaired.”

Troopers said having a plan ahead of time is crucial for anybody participating in Sunday’s festivities.

“Most people who go to a party who do not have a plan. Once they are impaired, it’s likely they will not use a sober ride to get back home,” Hovis said.

If drivers are pulled over, they will head to jail, he added.

Sergeant Stephen McClure from Spartanburg Police Department oversees the department’s traffic patrol arm.

“A lot of people have the impression that we’re just out trying to take people to jail,” he said. “We don’t want that. We don’t want to take anybody to jail. We want people to be safe.”

Law enforcement would not confirm whether or not there will be increased patrols Sunday night.

However, they did confirm there will be checkpoints set up along roadways throughout the Upstate to decrease the risk of drunk drivers on the blacktop.

Suzie Thomas said she wants people who have been drinking to stay out of the driver’s seat – even if they feel OK to drive.

“Don’t put anybody else’s family through what my family goes through constantly.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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