COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - They say nearly half of all deadly crashes here in the Palmetto State involve a driver that's impaired. As the summer winds down, you may start to see more troopers on the roadway.
The 100 deadly days of summer may be coming to an end, but state Highway Patrol troopers aren't letting up on efforts to catch drunk drivers.
The Sober or Slammer campaign is underway, and it's aimed at ending DUI deaths. Law enforcement and first responders are ramping up safety efforts as we get closer to Labor Day weekend.
Last year, the state had the second lowest number of deaths from DUIs in 50 years. This year they hope that number is even lower.
"We are definitely on the right track in terms of curving traffic fatalities," said Leroy Smith with the state Department of Public Safety. "As we all know, are we satisfied with that number? Absolutely not. We'll be satisfied once we get to zero for we know that the loss of one life is one loss too many."
Carol Kiparisus knows the pain of losing a loved one to a DUI accident. Her son was killed 11 years ago.
"I remember answering the door and I knew. Something just told me, I knew something terrible was wrong," said Kiparisus. "The coroner told me that it was my son and that he didn't make it. And of course I just fell to my knees crying, 'Oh God not my baby.' It's the most horrific tragedy that I've ever experienced."
Carol goes to DUI events throughout the year sharing her story with students and parents to try to show them how devastating drinking and driving can be. She thinks the state is on the right path for bringing the number of DUI deaths down, but she says she won't stop sharing her story until the number is at zero.
Highway Patrol is encouraging you to report anyone you think is driving under the influence by calling *HP.