Troopers see high number of DUI arrests

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 4, 2010

The roads in Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M’s territory werefairly quiet during the New Year Holiday as long as you weren’tdrinking and driving, officials said Monday.

While the 844 citations handed out in Troop M’s nine-county areawas just about average for the state’s nine districts, there weremore arrests for driving under the influence in any area exceptJackson’s Troop C. There were 25 DUI arrests in Troop M, just fivebehind Troop C’s 30.

Troop M Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Rusty Boyd said that whilethere were plenty of intoxicated drivers on the road, there werealso plenty of revelers that partied responsibly.

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“Some troopers reported to me they did have people come throughcheckpoints that did have designated drivers,” he said. “But still,there were some that didn’t. We were about on par for theseason.”

There were nine total accidents on Troop M’s highways during theholiday, which started Dec. 31 and ended Jan. 3. It was thesecond-lowest district in the state. Troop C and Troop G tied with19 accidents each.

Two of the nine collisions in Troop M were alcohol-related.

Boyd said there were only two fatalities statewide, which ismuch better than last year’s five statewide highway deaths.

“We were one day shorter this time than last year’s crackdown,”Boyd said. “That could have had a little to do with it. We’re justlucky we didn’t have but two fatalities for the period, so we cameout pretty good.”

Meanwhile, local troopers recorded 31 seat belt citations, tiedfor second in the state. There were 12 citations issued on thehighways of Troop M for improper child restraint, something Boydsaid his men look out for particularly.

“We’re always looking for seat belt and child restraintviolations, those are a high priority, especially childrestraints,” he said. “Not that other ones aren’t important too,but the children, we’re looking out for them.”

Boyd said troopers get a bit of a break after the long holidayseason. The next major crackdown comes in the spring when there isa holiday “buckle-up blitz.”