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South Carolina police key in on holiday drunk driving

The holiday season brings frequent celebrations, and with celebration there is often drinking and socializing. For that reason, you can expect South Carolina authorities to keep an overly watchful eye for drunk driving during the holidays.

Local law enforcement has launched a campaign to try to get party-goers to use a designated driver that spends the entire night alcohol-free. They call it their "Be a SANTA" campaign, with SANTA standing for "Sober All Night Totally Awesome" designated driver.

According to police, drunk driving is the top cause for traffic deaths in the state. Law enforcement keys in on the holiday season because not only are there more parties being thrown, but the special events also see individuals drinking who typically do not. This puts a larger pool of drivers at risk as police try to track down those driving under the influence of alcohol.

Law enforcement call the high percentage of alcohol-related traffic deaths in the state "unacceptable," which is why they have launched the new ad campaign.

To try to make a point, South Carolina police described a recent incident where they pulled over a woman driving the wrong way on I-26 in Lexington County. Police arrested the woman and charged her with DUI after forcing her vehicle to a stop.

Although police are sometimes quick to suspect DUI when they pull over party-goers, they must still follow protocol and be able to prove without a doubt that the driver was in fact under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving charges are not ones to be levied out carelessly, as they carry strict punishments in a conviction is made.

Source: The Times and Democrat, "During holiday season, you really can be SANTA," Dec. 3, 2011

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