Police Beefing Up Security To Insure Safe New Year - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/26/04

Police Beefing Up Security To Insure Safe New Year

The holiday season is a time to be eat, drink, and be merry, but officials say sometimes one person's holiday fun turns into another person's tragedy.

Statistics shows more than 4,000 people in the U.S. died in traffic accidents last year during the holidays.

40% of those were drinking related.

The Pascagoula Police Department will be beefing up their patrols next weekend to find drunk drivers before an accident finds them.

"Anytime you put alcohol and speed together you're going to end up with an accident of some type," says Pascagoula Police Office Jackie Trussell.

That's exactly why officers like Trussell are trained to spot a driver who's had a little too much to drink.

"They'll try to keep their tires on this line that way they're not weaving. That is one of the sure signs of an impaired driver," Trusell said.

Trusell also says roadblocks are a great way to pick out drunk drivers.

"You start talking to the person, you ask them for their drivers license and they start grabbing their credit cards or their ATM cards and they go to hand you other stuff or they can't find something in their drivers license."

Although the focus of these road blocks is to get drunk drivers off the road, Trussell says they also help police officers fight other crimes at the same time.

"You find concealed weapons, you find narcotics, you find open containers, people with warrants."

And these people, Trussell says, can be just as dangerous as a drunk driver.

That's why he says roadblocks are an important law enforcement tool to make sure everyone has a happy and safe holiday season.[

"We're here to protect and serve and that's part of it," Trussell says.

By: Jaimee Goad

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