New Year's DUI arrests have law enforcers hoping for better - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New Year's DUI arrests have law enforcers hoping for better

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HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A quiet and foggy downtown set the mood in Gulfport New Year's morning. It was the aftermath of a busy week.

"We've had at least 24 DUI arrests made from Friday to today," said Gulfport Police Sergeant Damon McDaniel.

McDaniels said driving drunk is not a laughing matter.

"It ruins life. Not only the life of the DUI driver, but it ruins the life of everyone around them," said Sergeant McDaniel.

The Gulfport Police Department enforced the national campaign, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." It ran from December 14th to January 1st.

With 114 DUI arrests made in Gulfport in December of 2011 and 100 made in December of 2012, Sergeant McDaniel said people are starting to get the message.

D'Iberville Police Department also joined the effort. They only made two DUI arrests on New Year's.

"We're really happy with that. The most important thing for us is that we had zero accidents," said Captain Clay Jones.

Other coast police departments had low numbers of DUI arrests on New Year's.

Biloxi made two DUI arrests. Long Beach made one DUI arrest. Pass Christian made one DUI arrest from December 23rd to January 1st. Bay St. Louis made three DUI arrests.

George County and Ocean Springs kicked off the new year without any DUI arrests.

"Our city streets are going to be safe. We hold DUI very seriously," said Captain Jones.

Officers' zero tolerance attitude toward drinking and driving has them already making goals for 2013.

"Next year, I want us to do this interview and me be able to tell you we had zero DUI arrests," said Captain Jones.

"We're going to continue to fight against DUIs," said Sergeant McDaniel.

To officers, the message is simple.

"Drive sober or get pulled over. It could be more than just your life at risk," said Sergeant McDaniel.

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