Stopping drunk drivers in their tracks

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It's the third week of beefed up patrols and safety checkpoints in Ocean Springs.

"You want everyone to have a good time. You just want people to understand if you drink too much you need to have someone else drive," says Ocean Springs P.D. Public Information Officer Michael Pol.

But, Pol says drunken behavior hasn't been the initial reason for many who are stopped.

"Most of the people that get stopped by these officers are getting stopped because of another violation," says Pol.

That was the case on Friday night when officers held a safety checkpoint on an Ocean Springs Road.  There were no drunk drivers while WLOX was at one checkpoint, but people did get caught not wearing seat belts and without proper paperwork.

As for those who did have everything in order, they got a little stocking stuffer.

"We gave them a t-shirt, so it's not all bad," says Pol.

As for DUI's, officers say they've had about 170 so far this year.  It's a number police say they want to keep from rising this holiday season.

"If you're going to go to the Christmas party and you're going to have a little Christmas cheer, make sure you have a designated driver," says Pol.

"We just want people to be responsible through the holiday season," says Sergeant Calvin Robertson with the Ocean Springs Police Department.

Ocean Springs police did get DUI's at other checkpoints late Friday night.