Drunk driving remains a major problem on the Grand Strand and Pee Dee. Nearly 300 people in our area have been charged with Driving Under the Influence just this month alone. In Myrtle Beach, the number of drunk drivers has doubled compared to the same time last year.
In September, Highway Patrol Troop 5, which covers Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro and Williamsburg counties made 224 arrests. Myrtle Beach police made 49 DUI arrests. Surfside Beach police made 10 arrests. North Myrtle Beach police made 9 arrests. In total, 292 total arrests were made.
"Well with any resort area with the bars and the restaurants, we're going to have DUIs and part of police function is DUI detection and arrest and apprehension," Lt. Sean Downey with North Myrtle Beach police says.
In every area, arrests were made at all times of day.
Surfside Beach Lieutenant Rodney Keziah says that's because driver's misconceive the amount of time it takes to be ok to get behind the wheel.
"It takes a long time for alcohol to dissipate and get out of the system. You know a typical situation you could have someone that drank up to 4 or 5 in the morning, and at 1:30 in the afternoon he would still be legally intoxicated," Keziah said.
Police from several jurisdictions operate DUI checkpoints on a monthly basis and they're not backing down this fall.
"We might see these numbers start to decrease some, but until you see these numbers start to go away we're going to keep doing it," Downey says.