FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Across South Carolina motorists are given a choice this holiday season: stay sober or be put in the slammer. The S.C. Department of Public Safety began its Sober or Slammer enforcement blitz Dec. 5 and it will continue through early January in an effort to deter drunk drivers and make sure South Carolinas roads remain highways, not “die ways.”
In Fairfield County, the sheriff’s department will serve a support role to whatever initiatives and checkpoints the highway patrol puts into place.
“We defer to them in the checkpoints and saturation points and then we work with anything they are doing,” Captain Brad Douglas said.
Due to investigating major cases and to heavy call volume during the holidays, the sheriff’s department elects to keep more officers out on patrol.
“We place an extra emphasis to patrol about crimes of opportunity that often increase this time of year, like burglaries,” Douglas said.
Douglas said there have been lots of burglaries in neighboring counties like Newberry, Richland and Chester but that this year there has not yet, as of Dec. 21, been a spike in burglaries in Fairfield County as they have seen in years past.
“We are trying to be proactive because there are thefts in counties all around us,” Douglas said. “This is the first year of the last few without a rash of burglaries in the days leading up to Christmas.”
He could not say whether a more robust police presence with added patrols was the reason for the decline, but the officers like to think their added patrols are helping the situation.
Patrols will be the main focus of Winnsboro Department of Public Safety this holiday season as well. Chief Freddie Lorrick said the Winnsboro Public Safety will be out in force on patrol this holiday season but they will not set up DUI checkpoints per se.
“There is so much going on around us (that we elected to keep up our regular patrols) but rest assured our offices will keep their eyes open for drunk drivers while they are out on patrol,” Lorrick said.