SOS 2015   SOS Kickoff



South Carolina Department of Public Safety


December 15, 2015
Contact: Your Local CRO, 803-896-8144



COLUMBIA –The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) and local law enforcement agencies across the state announced the launch of the Christmas/New Years Sober or Slammer! enforcement blitz. The goal of the enforcement and education push is to reduce preventable highway fatalities and injuries caused by the choice to drink and drive.


SCDPS, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies and first responders, are warning the public about the consequences of drunk driving during the holiday season, as well as encouraging safe holiday celebrations by designating a driver for all seasonal parties and events. Last year, 24,000 people were arrested statewide for driving impaired.


The SOS effort is part of the agency’s ongoing goal of Target Zero, focusing on the elimination of traffic fatalities in South Carolina. Preliminary figures indicate that 892 people have been killed in traffic crashes this year, compared to 771 people killed during the same time period last year.


Troopers and local law enforcement will conduct public safety checkpoints and enhanced enforcement efforts from December 18 to January 1, 2016. 


Drunk driving continues to be the leading cause of fatal crashes in South Carolina, accounting for approximately 40 percent of all fatal crashes.


“We are asking the public to partner with us during our SOS campaign this year by making the right choices that will ensure everyone makes it home for the holidays,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “That is why we want you to look out for friends at holiday celebrations; designate a sober driver; and call *HP if you suspect someone is driving under the influence this holiday season.”


South Carolina’s Sober or Slammer! efforts runs concurrently with the nationwide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Sober or Slammer! public education efforts include a TV spot featuring the “Who Will Be Taken?” message, which originally ran during the Labor Day enforcement period, reminding motorists of the different lives affected by DUI-related fatalities. The spot encourages motorists to call *HP (or *47) if they see someone they suspect is driving while impaired.


“Lives are lost at all times of the day and in all areas of the state due to DUI,” said Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver. “DUI doesn’t just happen at night. It doesn’t just happen to one group or another. But DUI is 100 percent preventable by making the right choices this holiday season.”


In addition to utilizing *HP, SCDPS reminds motorists there is another simple step they can take to stay safe and out of trouble – designate a sober driver. At the beginning of December, the agency kicked off its annual designated driver holiday campaign, Be a SANTA!  (Sober All Night Totally Awesome Designated Driver). Public service announcements on television and billboards across the state encourage the public to ensure they appoint a SANTA, or designated driver, in their travel groups.


The SC Department of Transportation is also supporting the Sober or Slammer! campaign. The agency will allow SCDPS to display safety messages on its overhead message boards along state roadways during select days from now through Jan. 1.


The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, Immigration Enforcement Unit and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.
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