BEAUFORT COUNTY

55 arrested in Beaufort, Jasper counties for drunk driving during holiday season

achristnovich@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 2, 2013 

Fifty-five Beaufort and Jasper county residents and one out-of-towner spent time in the county jail from Dec. 14 to Jan. 2 on drinking and driving charges.

Almost half were pulled over during the early hours of New Year's Day.

The arrests by local officers and Highway Patrol troopers were part of a statewide "Sober or Slammer" campaign to deter drunk driving during the holidays.

Highway patrolmen pulled over 30 people in Beaufort County for DUI during the campaign, according to Senior Trooper Bridget Wyant. The number of citations was almost 10 times more than in Colleton County, six times more than in Jasper County and about three times more than in Berkeley, Charleston or Dorchester counties.

There's no specific reason why so many more drivers in Beaufort County were pulled over, Wyant said.

"During the campaign there just happened to be a spike in Beaufort (DUIs)," she said Wednesday. "When you compare Beaufort and Berkeley for the whole year, though, they're only one number apart."

In 2012, there were 425 DUI arrests in Beaufort County and 426 in Berkeley County.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and Beaufort Police Department participated in the campaign, making 21 and 5 additional arrests, respectively.

The youngest and oldest drivers pulled over -- an 18- and 64-year-old -- were both from Hilton Head Island. Sixty-two percent of drivers were between ages of 20 and 35.

The number of residents arrested from the northern and southern parts of Beaufort County was about equal, according to the jail log.

Nearly half of all traffic fatalities in the state involve at least one driver with a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit of .08, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety.

Related content

  1. Highway patrol: Drunken driving spikes in Beaufort County, Dec. 28, 2012
  2. Money for DUI prosecution in jeopardy; county prosecutors seek $1.6 million, Jan. 1, 2013

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