'Sober or Slammer' drunk driving campaign kicks off Friday

The 'Sober or Slammer' kickoff event on Thursday in Florence.

Law enforcement officers kicked off their annual 'Sober or Slammer' crackdown on drunk drivers Thursday at Howe Springs Fire Department in Florence.

The most recent statistics available show that 348 people died in South Carolina in alcohol-involved crashes in 2012.

Last year, officers arrested more than 27,000 for DUI.

"We want to save the lives of people on the highway. Not only the State of South Carolina, also the people that's coming in to visit. We have a problem as far as drunk drivers and we want to try and make it, make the roads safe," said Captain Jo Nell with SC Highway Patrol.

In 40 percent of traffic fatalities in South Carolina alcohol was a factor, according to Highway Patrol.

Donna Carter is the President of Darlington County Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

She got involved in the organization after losing her brother, Marvin Terry, 26, in 1990 to a DUI accident on I-95 in Florence County.

"September 25 marks the 24 year of my brother's death. And I been doing this for 24 years now. I'm not gonna stop doing it until we have completely zero percent fatalities on our roadway due to drunk driving. In South Carolina, we slaughter so many people on our roadways due to drunk driving," said Carter.

Carter says the pain never goes away, but she gains strength through helping other families.

"There was somebody there to assist my family. To walk us through the judicial process. And I felt like I needed to be there for the families coming up behind me," said Carter.

She's working closely with law enforcement to spread the word about the Sober or Slammer campaign.

The campaign starts August 15 and runs through the end of Labor Day.