You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'Sober or slammer': Extra Labor Day DUI enforcement in York, Chester, Lancaster

The Herald (Rock Hill, SC) logo The Herald (Rock Hill, SC) 9/4/2020 By Andrew Dys, The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

York County, SC

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer travel and recreation and brings busy highways and waterways, so police will step up DUI enforcement this weekend, officials said.

The S.C. Highway Patrol will have extra officers on roads in York, Chester, and Lancaster counties, with a focus on enforcing speed and drunk driving laws, said Master Trooper Gary Miller of the highway patrol.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has slowed overall travel, highways locally and near the coast and mountains are expected to be extremely busy, Miller said.

“Labor Day is typically the end of the summer when people make that last trip,” Miller said. ‘We want everyone to know that drinking and driving is never an option. Impairment starts with that first drink.”

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is called the “100 Deadly Days of Summer” by law enforcement in South Carolina. Fatalities in 2020 for the summer are up from last year, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety. From May 25 through Sept. 1, there were 306 fatalities on South Carolina roads in 2020, compared to 266 for that same period in 2019, statistics show.

Today’s top headlines

Sign up for the Afternoon Newsletter and get the day’s biggest stories in your inbox.



This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Troopers are partnering with sheriff’s offices in York, Chester, and Lancaster counties in its “Sober or Slammer” campaign aimed at stopping DUI and enforcing speed limits through the holiday.

Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said sober and safe driving is a responsibility of everyone who gets behind the wheel.

“We’ll write tickets to speeders and folks who commit other moving violations and we’ll arrest intoxicated drivers,” Faile said.. “...Lots of people will be out. We want everybody to enjoy the holiday, but we encourage everyone to be careful and considerate of others on the road. Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drink and drive.”

Gas prices

Lower gas prices also could mean more people making one last summer road trip, officials said.

Gas prices are far lower than the Labor Day holiday in 20109, according to AAA Carolinas. South Carolina’s average gas price is $1.99 a gallon, AAA said. During Labor Day 2019, the average price was 25 cents higher, officials said.

“With students back in school, the majority of travelers are most likely to take up to a 3-day road trip,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson for AAA Carolinas.

Recreation, weather, and water safety.

Although Friday is expected to be hot with highs over 90 degrees, temperatures on Saturday, Sunday and Monday are expected to remain in the mid to lower 80s in York County, with mostly sunny skies, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

Covid-19 forced Carowinds to remain closed for 2020. That means there will be no last big summer weekend at York County’s largest tourist attraction. The amusement park is scheduled to re-open in 2021.

However, there are some things going in:

The BMX Nationals bicycle event is ongoing Friday through Sunday at the BMX Supercross Track in Rock Hill at Riverwalk.

With warm and sunny weather on tap Lake Wylie is expected to have plenty of boating activity. Water safety will be a focus of law enforcement during the Labor Day holiday weekend, said Officer Jeff Vissage of the York County office of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

Vissage said operating a boat while drinking alcohol is dangerous and against South Carolina law.

“Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is just as illegal and unsafe as on the road,” Vissage said.

After an incident last week where two young people sustained minor injuries on personal watercraft on Lake Wylie, law enforcement reminded people that anyone under age 16 must have a boaters education certificate to operate a watercraft, Vissage said. Additionally, all watercraft must have proper personal flotation devices for all people on board, Vissage said.

DNR, the sheriff’s office, and Tega Cay Police Department have law enforcement responsibilities on the South Carolina side of Lake Wylie.

Riverwalk and other areas along the Catawba River south of Lake Wylie are expected to be extremely busy and crowded, said Mark Simmons, Rock Hill Fire Department deputy chief. Simmons said people who use the river need to remember that the water flow is much faster than on the lake.

Watercraft such as kayaks and tubes used on the river need to be of a strength to handle the water, Simmons said.

“We sometimes see people bring tubes that are used on the lake or even in swimming pools, and those type of inflatables are not meant for river use,” Simmons said.

Anyone using the river should have personal flotation devices and avoid alcohol use, Simmons said.

“Alcohol and the river don’t mix,” Simmons said.


©2020 The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)

Visit The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


More from The Herald (Rock Hill, SC)

The Herald (Rock Hill, SC)
The Herald (Rock Hill, SC)
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon