LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - A national campaign to stop drunk driving went into effect nearly two weeks ago. It has a catchy rhyme that's easy to remember, but law enforcement professionals say the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is an effort to save motorist's lives and keep impaired drivers off the roadways.
Lt. Kipper Thomas, with the Long Beach Police Department, says the deadly yet preventable crime has become a serious safety epidemic in our country, so participating in the national drunk driving enforcement crackdown helps him and his colleagues keep drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.
"It takes drunk drivers off the road, and drunk drivers cause so many horrific accidents that cost countless lives. We need to take those off the road," Thomas said.
Additional officers have been working through the campaign to catch those who decide to drive after having a few drinks.
"Normal traffic violations is what they're looking for, but there are keys to people's driving that indicates whether they're impaired or not," said Thomas.
Thomas said it's simple driving violations like crossing over center lines, not making complete stops at stop signs and even running red lights that give officers on duty the red flag that something may be wrong. Although they're in the middle of this campaign, these are indicators they look for year round.
"We look for the same thing throughout the year, no matter what time it is or when it is, but during this time when they have the campaign going on, we'll actually have more officers on the road looking for just these key indicators. That's what we've been doing since the campaign began," said Thomas.
Since the start of the campaign, Thomas says Long Beach police have made nine DUI arrests and issued more than 100 citations.