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Drunk drivers targeted during MHP campaign

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M officials credit theirtroopers with going the extra mile to pick up drunk drivers duringMHP’s “Take Back the Highways” week.

MHP Troop M Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Rusty Boyd said Troop Mpicked up 22 drivers for driving under the influence during theweeklong program that took place from July 25 through midnight July31.

“We’ve got a bunch of young guys out there that are motivated,and they like to work, and they’re paying attention,” he said.”That’s one thing they’re looking for is anyone who is impairedwhile driving.”

New Albany’s Troop F and Batesville’s Troop E picked up 19 and18 DUIs, respectively.

Troop M recorded a total of 47 seat belt and child restrainttickets. They had a grand total of 897 citations issued, sixth outof the nine districts in the state.

Boyd said the district also recorded two alcohol-relatedaccidents, which also led the state.

“That’s something we hated that we missed them and we can’t getthem before that happens,” he said. “In these circumstances theywere single vehicle accidents and they didn’t have the chance toharm anyone else, which was fortunate.”

But that is the reason Troop M’s troopers are so vigilant, hesaid.

“It’s going to happen. People that are going to drink and driveare eventually going to have wrecks,” he said.

“Take Back the Highways” is a program that troopers inMississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida take part induring the last week in July, said Boyd.

“It originated in Alabama and it was a way that they felt likethey could put some extra people out there and bring awareness tosafety on the highway,” he said. “The last week in July wouldusually be the last week people are on vacation, taking the lasttrip in before school starts and things like that.”

Boyd said with school starting, many people will be off thehighways, but traffic picks up other places.

“Be aware that school zones are in effect, and there’s moretraffic during that time in those areas,” he said. “Be patient anduse extra caution.”