The Myrtle Beach Police Department hopes to see cars left in parking lots New Year’s Day because folks decided to get a ride from a sober driver.
Cpl. Thomas Vest said everyone should make a plan to get home safe before they go out for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“We want people to understand there are serious consequences if you drive drunk,” Vest said. “That’s not what we want to see going into the new year.”
Vest said legal consequences aren’t the only outcome of drinking and driving.
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“The ones where someone dies really sends home the importance of not driving drunk,” he said.
Officers have worked numerous crashes involving driving under the influence in the city, including drivers going into ponds and buildings, Vest said.
If you’re pulled over and suspected of drunk driving, officers will do a field sobriety test. Police look for impairments like red glassy eyes, slurred speech, confusion and being unsteady, Vest said. After being arrested for DUI, the suspect will do a breathalyzer test at the jail. If the suspect refuses, his or her license will automatically be suspended for at least six months, Vest said. If a person blows above .15, his or her license will be suspended for one month, he said.
With big celebrations in the city at places like Market Common and Broadway at the Beach, officers are especially watching for drunk drivers.
“We’re going to have extra manpower tonight,” he said. “What we hope to see is a lot of taxis taking people home because they chose to not drive drunk.”
The best tip for making it home safe is to call a taxi, Uber or Lyft driver to take you home, Vest said.