Mississippi drivers stay safe over holiday

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

Mississippi drivers reduced this year’s July 4 traffic accidents and DUI arrests by more than half of last year’s numbers.
Mississippi Highway Patrol reported arresting 95 drunken drivers and investigating 47 accidents Wednesday, which compares with 214 DUI arrests and 130 crashes last year.
This year’s Independence Day, like 2011, had one fatal highway traffic accident. In Madison County, Edward Bradford III, 56, of Canton, died after losing control of his vehicle on Highway 43. Alcohol was not involved in the accident, according to Trooper Ray Hall.
The Marshall County coroner reported on Thursday an additional July 4 traffic fatality, Lonnie Herbery Allen, 29, of Moscow, Tenn., that was not on a state highway.
Locally, seven people were taken to the Lee County Adult Jail on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning for DUIs and three people for public drunkenness.
In the Troop F patrol area (Benton, Tippah, Alcorn, Tishomingo, Union, Prentiss, Pontotoc, Lee and Itawamba counties), Highway Patrol troopers issued 279 traffic citations and made 11 DUI arrests.
Across the state, 3,227 traffic citations were handed out Wednesday by Highway Patrol troopers.
Troopers made four felony arrests statewide, one in Tupelo.
Shawn Brown, 38, of Booneville, was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.
Hall said the number of DUIs and accidents this year are lower because the holiday fell on a Wednesday and the increased enforcement period was two days.
Last year the enforcement period lasted four days, including a weekend. He said the drop also is due to increased enforcement.
“People knew about the increased law enforcement presence and I think that had an effect on their decisions on the road,” Hall said.
jb.clark@journalinc.com