Gulfport Police Out In Full Force This Memorial Holiday Weekend

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- "The three of us live our life without our son. My wife and I know we'll never have grandkids, and we'll never hear his loud music coming down the driveway," Bill Downs said.

Bill Downs knows what it's like to lose loved ones to a drunk driver. In the fall of 2007, his son, daughter-in-law and a young man who was like a son to him, were all killed by a drunk driver.

He can't bring them back to life, but helping with roadblocks, like the ones set up by the Gulfport Police Department, make him feel he can spare other parents the pain he's had to carry.

"I'm helping to support them to get the word out that this is Memorial Day. It's a holiday. You can have fun without drinking and driving, kind of the cliche. What my wife and I have adopted is that drinking and driving is a choice. It is not a mistake," Downs said.

To help keep imparied drivers off the road and make sure people are buckled up, the Gulfport Police Department is hitting the streets full force this Memorial Day Weekend holiday.

"We're doing some safety checkpoints and DUI roadblocks throughout the city. We're going to do this tonight. We're going to continue multiples throughout the weekend," said Lt. Rob Curry with the Gulfport Police Department.

The Gulfport Police Department has already issued about 600 tickets this week.

"It's important that not only we deliver the messge to buckle up, but deliver the message that we're out here to remember to not drink and drive, but to remember loved ones that are lost during this period of time. We don't want to forget those," Lt. Curry said. "We want to be out here in full force because we don't want to create a situation where a person lost their life to a DUI offender."

Police throughout South Mississippi will be setting up roadblocks until the Memorial Holiday weekend ends at midnight Monday.