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Troopers ready for New Year’s holiday

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By Jesef Williams

Law officers are out in full force in an attempt to help keep roads safe this New Year’s holiday.

The S.C. Highway Patrol is running its Sober or Slammer campaign, which targets drunk driving, through Sunday.  

Troopers are patrolling all of the county’s main highways, such as U.S. 521, S.C. 200 and S.C. 9, as well as secondary roads.

Motorists can expect to run into checkpoints today through the weekend, said Lance Cpl. Jeff Gaskin. The Highway Patrol has also established teams of troopers that are specifically targeting drunk drivers.

“We’re trying to get the message out to use designated drivers throughout the holidays,” Gaskin said.

“There’s obvious reason for concern with the celebrating that’s going to be going on,” he said.

Last year, 13 people died on South Carolina roads from Dec. 31 through that following Sunday.

In 2003, the last time there was a 102-hour New Year holiday period (Dec. 31 through Jan. 4) like this year, South Carolina experienced 17 highway fatalities, Gaskin said.

None of those deaths that year were in Lancaster County, he said.

Gaskin reminds people to make good decisions this holiday, which includes establishing a designated driver beforehand if you plan to drink alcohol.

Also, wear a seat belt, obey the speed limit and call 911 or #HP if you see someone driving erratically.

 Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152