Preventing traffic crashes and fatalities over New Year's is the goal for Mississippi Highway Patrol this weekend. MPB's Mark Rigsby reports.
State troopers will have safety checkpoints across Mississippi over the New Year's holiday. Captain Johnny Poulos says MHP will be looking for impaired drivers, and getting them off the road. He says drivers should not avoid going through a checkpoint, by turning around and heading in the other direction.
“You will see blue lights behind you, and there can be additional charges. We highly recommend do not turn around on a safety checkpoint.”
Poulos says there were no fatal crashes during New Year’s last year, but when they do happen they impact many lives.
“We know people personally, that have been involved in a crash, where they were the impaired driver, and they took someone else’s life. That is something not only they have to live with the rest of their life, but the families that are left behind that lose the loved one, it’s something they also live with the rest of their lives.”
Poulos says party goers, and those hosting parties, must exercise responsibility. Make a safe driving plan before going out. Take the car keys away if someone is drinking. And, have a designated driver.
“Unfortunately, people make bad decisions when it comes to drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel. That’s what we want to avoid. You have time to make plans to have a sober designated driver. This ensures everyone can enjoy the festivities and make it home safely.”
The upcoming traffic enforcement period runs from New Year's Eve at 6 p.m. to New Year's Day at midnight.