Biloxi Police: Drunk drivers beware

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Nothing will ruin a New Year's celebration like seeing blue lights pop up in your rear view mirror. But, if you don't follow the rules of the road when you ring in 2011, that's just what you'll see.

"All shifts are going to be fully manned. We're going to be out there. We're going to enforce every law," Tino Cunha who is a traffic enforcement officer with the Biloxi Police Department.

Officers in the Biloxi Police Department say that more people out and about means more chances for accidents.  That's why they are gearing up to watch for seat belt safety, speeding, and, of course, drunk drivers.

"If we suspect that you are, we're going to stop you and we're going to check," said Cunha.

Officers say most of the DUIs they see this time of the year are actually first time offenders.

"That's the person who goes to a Christmas party, goes to a New Year's party, and just has one drink too many, and thinks that it's okay to drive home that way," explained Cunha.  "If you've had a couple a drinks, two or three drinks, and you think you're okay, you're probably not.  Get someone else to drive you."

Police say there's a lot of options if you overindulge this New Year's Eve. For example, take a cab.  Paying cab fare is a lot cheaper than the more than $1,000 in fines that come along with a DUI charge.

"It's just not worth the chance. Safety wise, you could hurt someone out there, besides hurting yourself.  I think that legally and monetarily, it's just not worth it in the end," said Cunha.

Biloxi PD is also prepared to set up road blocks if needed, and they will be monitoring traffic throughout the New Year's weekend.

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