The Stone County Sheriff’s Department is participating in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign. Enhanced enforcement will be carried out through Sept. 7. 

Due to the increase in impaired driving-related accidents, injuries and fatalities during the holidays, the Stone County Sheriff’s Department will be out in full force apprehending impaired drivers and spreading the message that impaired driving will not be tolerated, according to DUI Capt. Kevin Heinz. 

High visibility enforcement will be utilized to spread the message to the public, Heinz said. 

There has also been a recent increase of DUI arrests due to other intoxicants, Heinz said.

“People lately, I guess they think it’s okay to smoke and drive, because we’ve had a big increase in DUI-other arrests lately,” he said. “Whether it’s marijuana or opioids or something else like Kratom. Kratom, taken in larger amounts, is like an opioid. Some people who have opioid problems are substituting it when they can’t get an opioid product.

“Marijuana use has also really increased lately. I guess because some other states have legalized it, we’ve seen a large increase of marijuana-impaired driving. It’s a big problem. Nearly 60 percent of all collisions are caused by someone impaired, and about two-thirds of ‘em are marijuana impairment.”

“If you choose to drink or take drugs and then drive, you are putting lives at risk and that is why we will be participating in this campaign” Sheriff Mike Farmer said. “If you plan to drink, get a designated driver. A DUI charge is expensive and the only way to avoid one is to not drink and drive. Remember: If you feel different, you drive different. Drive sober, or get pulled over.”

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