Let the drunken-driving blitz begin.
The S.C. Department of Highway Patrol rolled out its annual Sober or Slammer campaign today at the State House. More than 30 officers from local police and sheriffs’ departments joined S.C. Highway Patrol officers to introduce a new commercial aimed at reminding people how deadly drunken driving can be.
“South Carolina has had enough,” highway patrol Lt. Col. Michael Oliver said. “We have had enough crashes. We have had enough injuries. We have had enough deaths. We have had enough heart-broken families. We have had enough excuses.”
South Carolina ranks third in the nation in the number of traffic fatalities caused by drunken driving, said Phil Riley, director of the state’s Office of Highway Safety. In 2009, alcohol-impaired drivers killed 377 people in the state, he said.
The heart of the campaign is a new, two-part commercial featuring a young, up-and-coming man and his girlfriend celebrating a promotion with friends at a fancy restaurant. The man finishes an expensive bottle of wine, insists he can drive and then hits a pedestrian on the way home.