Mississippi Highway Patrol will be out in full force across the state to catch drunk drivers during the New Year's holiday. MPB's Desare Frazier reports reports.
Mississippi is third in the nation for DUI deaths according to American Medical Response, an ambulance service in the state. Jim Pollard with AMR says 7 out of 12 southern states also have high DUI's death rates.
"A great many of us travel to Alabama, or Tennessee, Louisiana and so on and those are among the worst states with us. So we're kind of in a DUI hazard zone," said Pollard.
Captain John Poulos with the Mississippi Highway Patrol says DUI's are a major problem. Troopers arrested 95 drunk drivers and a record 10 people died during the Thanksgiving holiday. This Christmas there were 39 DUI's and 5 deaths. Poulos says drivers who drink should have someone who hasn't consumed any alcohol take them home.
"We're warning people to remember that we don't want you to start out 2020 with being arrested and going to jail. This effects your job, your livelihood. It effects families' lives," said Poulos.
Sherrel Clark with Mother's Against Drunk Driving Mississippi warns people too. The 53-year old says her younger brother was killed by a drunk driver in 1988. Then in 2006, her daughter who was pregnant with twins, was killed by one.
"The pain from burying your child, there's not not one thing on the face of this earth that compares to it. To prevent another parent from having to do that is what drives me," said Clark.
The New Year's Holiday enforcement period began at 12:01 this morning and ends tomorrow at midnight.