Hancock County Sheriff's Department Cracks Down On Traffic Violators

An increased effort to get tougher on drivers who break the law is already paying off for the Hancock County Sheriff's Department. This weekend deputies made several arrests at a road block aimed to catch drunk drivers and other traffic violators. Lt. Ray Billeaud says it's a good feeling to pull over who is a person suspected of driving drunk.before someone gets hurt.

"I figure I take a drunk off the road, I'm either saving somebody from serious injury or from death," Billeaud said.

The Hancock County Sheriff's department hopes a string of road blocks will save lives and catch law breakers. Deputies are cracking down on people who live here but whose car tags say otherwise.

"We're going to really tighten up on that. If you live in Mississippi you need to get a Mississippi tag," Capt. Joe Herrin said

Deputies will also look for infractions like suspended or expired licenses and ask drivers for proof of insurance. Since insurance became mandatory almost a year ago, thousands of tickets have been written across the coast to people couldn't prove they had insurance. Hancock County deputies say the law is making a difference in their neighborhood.

"Before you asked people if they had insurance and whatever they told you was put on the report. They had to show proof of insurance later and we didn't always know the results," Chief of Patrol Bobby Underwood said. "Now we ask them at the wreck let us see your proof of insurance and yes, it's made a difference."

Deputies say an effective road block is a mobile one.

"If we stay in one spot, they get word out that we're in that location, and they start going around, so after two or three hours we move to another location," Billeaud said.

During the week, the Hancock County Sheriff's Department has been patrolling local schools. They have been trying to make sure parents whose children attend schools in state aren't driving without state tags.

By Danielle Thomas