With many residents celebrating through the holidays, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office took steps to keep people partying with alcohol off the streets. Like every year, concentrated patrols and sobriety checkpoints were two methods the department used to curb drunken driving, sheriff's office Capt. Steve Morris said.
Compared to the 13 DUI arrests from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day in 2002, nine people were arrested for driving under the influence in 2003, he said.
"It is a positive sign when arrests go down," Morris said. "It may indicate there are less people driving drunk."
But Morris does not completely attribute the drop in arrests to the department's extra effort to protect residents from drunken drivers.
"The public's awareness of the risks of driving while intoxicated kept the number of DUI arrests down to a minimum," Morris said. "The awareness on the part of the public, designated drivers and higher visibility on behalf of the sheriff's office played a significant role in these reductions."
Drivers arrested for DUI during the holiday season, from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day:
Justin Snead, 22, of Harlem
Donald Nelson, 46, of Evans
Edward Jones, 23, of Edgefield, S.C.
Michael Anderson, 29, of Evans
Juan Ott, 33, of Martinez
William Scruggs, 22, of Harlem
Amanda Skeens, 19, of Harlem
Nicole Dellario, 35, of Martinez
Sergio Avila, 27, of Augusta
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