By Holbrook Mohr/The Associated Pres
JACKSON – The Mississippi Highway Patrol says it made 214 DUI arrests over the holiday weekend, an increase over last year, while the number of traffic fatalities went down.
The DUI arrests were made between 6 p.m. Friday and midnight Monday, according to information provided by the Highway Patrol. The numbers do not represent every accident and arrest in Mississippi, just those investigated by state troopers.
This year, the agency said it investigated 130 collisions. One person died and 44 were injured. Authorities said alcohol was a factor in four of the accidents.
Troopers also made 15 felony arrests. They wrote 81 child restraint citations and 212 tickets for seat belt violations. Eleven people were arrested for drugs and 13 were charged with public intoxication.
The number of overall citations was down over last year, but the number of DUIs increased to 214 from 168, said Cpl. Todd Miller. State troopers worked one fatality this year, down from three a year ago.
“The arrests are up and the fatalities are down, so the visibility must have helped,” Miller said.
Highway Patrol Cpl. Otis Easterling said the fatal accident worked by troopers this year was a one-car wreck that killed a 15-year-old girl from Mize who was a passenger in the car. Easterling said the accident happened Saturday evening on Mississippi Highway 28 east of Magee and was not alcohol related. He did not provide the girl’s name.
“The driver was distracted,” Easterling said. “The statement I got was the driver looked down to help the passenger with something and ran off the road.”
The driver overcorrected and the car flipped, Easterling said. He said the girl was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle.