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Officials say holiday ends on quiet note

Area law enforcement are reporting a safe and happy holidayweekend, with no local fatalities on the roads.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M Public Affairs Officer StaffSgt. Rusty Boyd said Troop M recorded 15 arrests for driving underthe influence from Friday night through Tuesday morning. Inaddition, there were three drug arrests and two felony arrests.There were also 59 seatbelt and child restraint tickets issued, hesaid.

And motorists on the road seemed to be playing it safe, hesaid.

“For us it wasn’t so bad, and we had some rain but we continued andstayed out there and worked and hopefully we did the best wecould,” he said. “There were no fatalities. That means it was agood holiday.”

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said the quiet extended to thecounty. Like Highway Patrol, county units set up checkpoints toverify driver’s licenses and tags, as well as to screen for drunkdrivers.

“I know they all set up different checkpoints in the county,” hesaid. “We were looking for drunk drivers, as well as any otherviolations we need to correct in order to protect the citizens ofthe county.”

In the city, Assistant Police Chief Nolan Jones said his officerswere busy running down fireworks calls.

“We had some calls of fireworks being shot, as well as a fewdisturbances, but it was nothing major,” he said. “Overall it wasquiet.”

Between the fireworks calls and the reports of gunshots that oftenturned out to be fireworks calls, BPD officers were busy, hesaid.

“You’ve got to go check out every call,” he said. “You’ve got to gosee if you can find the ones shooting the fireworks, and it takesan officer going to look for them and locate them. It keeps youbusy.”

But the fact that the roads were quiet was a testament to lawenforcement presence in the city, the county, and the district,officials said.

“I hope it was because we were out there in force reminding peoplethat being safe can save lives, but probably luck had something todo with it too,” Boyd said. “Most of them that I dealt with wereaware we were going to be there, they kept it in their mind.”

Rushing agreed.

“I think people realize a lot of law enforcement is out there onholiday weekends, and people have done a good job of staying offthe roads,” he said. “People realize we’re out and they tend toobey the laws, and still enjoy the holidays, but just do itsafely.”

Boyd said the rain could have affected traffic just a little in thetimes that the roads were busy.

“I think the people that were out probably headed home a littleearly because of the rain,” he said. “I don’t know that it made abig difference, but I think that it may have adjusted the times alittle bit.”

In Troop M’s territory, there were 12 accidents in the nine-countyarea, with 15 injuries, but Boyd said none of the collisions werealcohol-related.

Statewide, Hattiesburg’s Troop J recorded two fatalities, andStarkville’s Troop G recorded one.