GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As festivities begin to roll during the holidays, the Gulfport Police Department wants drivers to remember to hit the road sober.
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is the motto for Gulfport Police as officers join the national traffic enforcement campaign, which runs from Dec. 14 to New Year’s Day.
In Mississippi, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration is at .08 percent, but how many drinks does it take to get there?
“There’s a lot of variables that go into how much a person can drink, but one drink is too many," said Sgt. James Griffin.
Having a DUI on your record means your license is suspended immediately.
“You end up having to pay all of the legal fees and attorney fees to try to, you know, take care of the problem that you’ve gotten yourself into,” Griffin said.
The most costly consequence, however, is the loss of life. Constable Alan Weatherford knows this all too well.
“No parent wants to hear those words ‘we tried but she didn’t make it,’” he said as he pulled up a photo of his daughter.
In March 2011, Deanna Tucker was leaving a store with her son when she was struck by a drunk driver.
“A vehicle left the roadway and stuck the passenger side of her vehicle, pushing her vehicle into a truck, crushing her,” Weatherford said.
According to him, the driver was like anyone else: young, starting a family, just like his daughter before she was killed. Weatherford had the chance to talk to him after he was convicted.
“He said that out of all the commercial that he had seen, that buzzed driving is drunk driving commercials, he didn’t think that it applied to him until after he had done what he had done," Weatherford said.
Even though the driver is still serving time, Weatherford still feels the pain of losing a loved one.
“There’s no winners in this,” he said.
He believes adults who are old enough to drink are old enough understand the responsibilities that come with it.
“It’s not the alcohol to blame, it’s the individual who decides to drive," Weatherford said.