Troopers ticket 697 in holiday weekend

Published 5:00 am Monday, July 7, 2003

Nearly 700 citations were handed out by troopers of theMississippi Highway Patrol’s District 9 over the Fourth of Julyweekend as they cracked down on drunk drivers, according to MHPofficials.

Trooper Rod Crawford, public affairs officer for District 9,said 697 citations were given from Thursday through Sunday forviolations ranging from no seat belt to felony driving under theinfluence.

“There were 21 arrests for DUI and two felony arrests,” he said.”We also investigated 20 accidents.”

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One of the felony arrests was for third offense DUI.

“Actually, that would make 22 DUI arrests total, but we tend totreat the felonies differently,” Crawford said.

The second felony arrest was for possession of drugs, hesaid.

The MHP was able to specifically target drunk drivers in Pikeand Adams counties under the federally-funded “You Drink, YouDrive, You Lose” program. Mississippi is one 13 statesparticipating in this pilot program, he said.

“It’s the target specific corridors where alcohol-relatedaccidents have been recorded,” Crawford said.

Under the program, he said, troopers were able to heavilyenforce the drinking laws in Pike and Adams counties over theholiday weekend.

“Seventy-five percent of the arrests made for DUI were in thetarget area,” he said. “We’re not ignoring other areas, but we areputting more emphasis there.”

Since the program began on June 23, he said, 54 DUI arrests canbe attributed to it. The program ends July 13.

MHP District 9 includes Adams, Amite, Franklin, Jefferson,Lawrence, Lincoln, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson counties.