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DUI deaths halved in one South Carolina county

One South Carolina county is experiencing great success in cutting drunk driving after implementing a local DUI task force. In Lexington County, officials have used federal funds to cut the rate of drunk driving fatalities in half, dropping from 33 in the first six months of 2012 to 15 during the same period in 2013. Authorities report they are pleased the rates have taken such a significant hit, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Although the overall death rate in the area is lower, the majority of highway deaths in the region are still alcohol-related. In fact, 80 percent of local roadway fatalities involve intoxication.

Lexington County was the recipient of a $170,000 per year grant from the federal government. That money spawned the Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow (CAST) DUI task force. The county's success has been caused by an increase in money to pay for patrol officers, as well as public awareness campaigns to promote safe driving. An increase in DUI checkpoints has also contributed to the decreased death rates. Finally, local authorities have increased educational efforts for alcohol servers, many of whom were not aware that it was against the law to serve an intoxicated patron.

The grant also helps the department pay for statistic collection and analysis, which will provide more information on effective interventions against DUI driving. By promoting education among bartenders, servers and the general public, law enforcement officials are working to prevent anyone from getting behind the wheel while drunk. This will lead to a lower arrest and death rates. In other words, the cops are not simply out to catch drunk drivers; they plan to solve the problem at its source.

If you have been nabbed as part of a drunk driving awareness campaign in your area, consider seeking the services of a qualified attorney. Your personal lawyer can help you learn more about your legal and financial options in the wake of DUI charges.

Source:  www.wsav.com, "DUI task force cuts highway deaths in half in one SC county" Shameca Kelley, Jul. 03, 2013

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