Officers Keep Holiday Traffic Moving - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Officers Keep Holiday Traffic Moving

For Biloxi traffic officers, this Independence Day started with an accident that shut down two westbound lanes of Pass Road near Fernwood for the entire morning. Police say a man driving drunk and very fast, hit a power pole.

"He severed the pole at the ground, knocked it over. He ended up in the hospital with minor injuries and he was quite intoxicated. Yeah, it's just a great way to start the holiday weekend," officer Mike Manna said.

Accidents, drunk and reckless drivers are not what officers want to see over the weekend. To keep traffic moving safely, there is a high police presence, especially along Highway 90.

"We've increased our officers to an additional 25 a day in different shifts just to address the traffic issues," Gulfport Motorcycle Officer Joe Langenbacker said.

"Traffic will always be tight in Biloxi even on the Fourth of July with tourists and increased traffic for the events on casino row," officer Manna said.

This is the first holiday that officers will enforce the state's tougher drunk driving law. The blood alcohol content went from .10 to .08. Officer say that probably means they'll make more DUI arrests.

"The potential is there, however, with the publicity that it has had, hopefully those who would want to partake and drive may seek a designated driver, that's what we're hoping' for," Langenbacker said.

"Nothing's going to change in the way we enforce the law other than the fact that the lower BAC might effect quite a few more people than normal," Manna said.

Police say people should think twice before driving drunk or recklessly because officers won't hesitate to pull them off the road, and put them in jail.

You can expect to see random roadblocks too. The Harrison and Jackson County Sheriff's Departments and the Mississippi Highway Patrol will set up the roadblocks to catch traffic violators.

By Marcia Hill

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