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Watching Mississippi’s Highways: What Could Land You in Jail This Weekend

JACKSON, Miss.–What could get you a huge fine and maybe even some jail time? drinking and driving this Labor Day holiday. Law enforcement across the state are tamping up their efforts to catch you if you are drinking and getting behind the wheel.

Your local sheriff and police departments will be conducting DUI checkpoints and calling in officers of their days off to beef up the numbers patrolling as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” nation-wide campaign to make roadways safer.

The state boys (and girls) will be part of that effort, too. The Miss. Highway Patrol says there will be over 160 additional officers on patrol, thanks to federal grant money.

Labor Day seems to be an especially bad time for drunk people deciding to drive.

“Families like to take that last opportunity,” said MHP Spokesman Warren Strain. He said they travel before settling into school mode.

“Traditionally it’s a heavy travel period. So there’s a lot of traffic out there and it’s simply by numbers. The more people on the roads, the more potential for problems.”

Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz came up through the ranks as a Highway Patrolman. He told News Mississippi what he looks for when spotting drunk drivers.

“You’ve got an erratic driver, a slow driver, you’ve got a fast driver,” he said. “I guess the more you work the roads it’s just instinct. At a stop sign or a red light, they’ve got a death grip on the steering wheel, they don’t want to look at you.”

The enforcement period will begin Friday at 6 p.m. and will conclude Monday, Sept. 2, at midnight.

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