Gulfport police ready new year's patrols - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport police ready new year's patrols

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Right now people everywhere are planning how they'll celebrate the start of 2013. Regardless of what your plans entail, there's one crucial item on that agenda--selecting your ride. 

"Choose your ride. Be smart. If you decide, after drinking at a party or drinking at a bar, a restaurant or whatever. If you choose to drive impaired, we're going to make the decision for you. Once we stop you we are going to arrest you and charge you with DUI," Sergeant Damon McDaniel said.

A tough approach with a swift warning. Yet year after year police across the country see an increase in impaired drivers during the New Years holiday. That's why Gulfport Police are planning ahead.

"Our efforts will consist of three phases. We'll have extra officers out for the saturation of the roadways, for visibility and presence. We'll also have our electronic sign-board as you see behind me. We'll do that to show the message drive sober or get pulled over. We'll also be doing sobriety checkpoints," McDaniel said.

Although their approach is stern, their message is really one of compassion. Urging motorists to value not only their own lives, but the lives of everyone around them. The sergeant said after all, it would be foolish to start the year off with a DUI.

"Impaired driving affects more than just the impaired drivers by being arrested. It affects the family members. It affects the people that are out there riding next to them. We are serious about impaired driving. We're going to take that stance and like I said, a stern stance on DUI enforcement," McDaniel said.

Police encourage drivers to have a designated driver setup before the celebration begins.

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