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Mid-South law enforcement to be out in force during holiday travel period

Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP)
Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP)(WMC)
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 6:28 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mid-Southerners are taking to the roads and skies this week to be with loved ones this Christmas.

On roads in the Mid-South, it would be wise to make smart choices when behind the wheel as law enforcement will be out in force over the next several days.

Arkansas has already been stepping up its game on every level: local, county, and state.

”Just one death on the highway leads to unimaginable consequences that leave families devastated for the remainder of their lives,” said Col. Bill Bryant, director of the Arkansas State Police (ASP) in a press release. “A death caused by a drunk driver is preventable and that’s why we try every day to remove impaired drivers from the roads before it’s too late.”

ASP and other agencies in the Natural State will up their presence until New Year’s Day.

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Meanwhile, the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) will begin its increased presence on state and federal roadways starting Thursday.

“US-70, I-55, I-269, all state and federal highways, we’re going to be there,” said Sgt. Kevin Baird with MHP’s Batesville office.

MHP numbers from last year’s Christmas holiday travel period show 201 car accident investigations, 130 DUI arrests, and four people killed on state roadways.

Baird says the goal this year is zero fatalities.

“There will be units looking for certain things, DUIs, impaired drivers, distracted driving, careless/reckless driving. We’re going to be out, and we’re going to be focusing our attention on those things in particular,” Baird said.

MHP is expecting larger travel numbers than usual in a year when families are making up for lost time.

Many weren’t able to gather last year due to COVID-19. Baird says law enforcement presence will help keep many drivers on the right path, but it’s a two-way street.

“It’s up to that person who’s driving that vehicle to make the right choice to not only protect themselves but to protect all of the travelers as they drive up and down our highways,” said Baird.

MHP will continue its presence until Sunday, December 26.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) will have an increased presence on state and federal roadways until January 2.

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