HARTSVILLE, S.C. - The Hartsville Police Department plans to step up its anti-impaired driving enforcement for the July 4 holiday and beyond.

 

“The 4th of July is considered one of the deadliest holidays due to impaired drivers,” a department said in a press release issued Friday. “We ask that you have a designated driver if your celebrations include drinking alcohol. If you are hosting a party, please make sure your guests have a way to get home safely. If you see someone you suspect is impaired, please call 911 immediately. The Hartsville Police Department wants everyone to make it home safe this year.”

 

“We hope that everyone has a great time next week celebrating our independence with family and friends,” the release said.  “Celebrations involve good food off the grill, fireworks after dark, and sometimes alcohol. Too often, our celebrations turn into tragedy when someone decides to drink and drive.”

 

Public Safety checkpoints will be used as part of the agency’s effort during this holiday and during Operation Southern Shield which runs from July 14 to July 20. Operation Southern Shield is a joint operation with law enforcement agencies from Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee, according to the release. 

 

“The goal is to increase enforcement to deter speeding, DUI, distracted driving, and seatbelt violations,” the release said. “Our DUI officer will be out and about during peak offense times making sure the streets in the city of Hartsville are safer for our residents and visitors. We will remain committed to our goal to keep everyone safe, and continue to adhere to the mission of Target Zero Traffic Deaths.  Please join us in making this mission a reality.”