Southaven PD hopes to crack down on drunk drivers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Southaven PD hopes to crack down on drunk drivers

Three-hundred drunk drivers were caught on the roads last year, according to Southaven Police Department. Three-hundred drunk drivers were caught on the roads last year, according to Southaven Police Department.
More bars mean more opportunities for drinking. But a new proposal in Southaven could crack down on DUI offenders. More bars mean more opportunities for drinking. But a new proposal in Southaven could crack down on DUI offenders.

(WMC-TV) – More bars mean more opportunities for drinking. But a new proposal in Southaven could crack down on DUI offenders.

Three-hundred drunk drivers were caught on the roads last year, according to Southaven Police Department. That is why the city is applying for a state grant to put more eyes on the streets.

"I work late hours, so I see a lot of that," said Mary Ward, who does not usually get done with work until after midnight. She says when she goes to eat, she sees plenty of others who have spent their nights drinking. "The restaurants, for one, we'll go and eat, the restaurants will be full of drunks."

Several bars and restaurants in the growing city, and its proximity to downtown Memphis bars, have police looking to add full-time DUI officers with help from a grant. The new officers would patrol the streets only looking for offenders during peak bar times. Money would also help pay for more sobriety checkpoints.

Only about 25 percent of DUI suspects are convicted in Southaven.

Grant money will help educate officers on methods to increase conviction rates and decrease the number of drivers making it unsafe for everyone else.

"That would send a message that we're serious about this and it may deter some people from doing it," said Willie Lyons, who lives in Southaven.

City leaders voted to apply for more than $100,000 in grant money at a board meeting last night.

The police department should know by summer if they will be able to put extra patrols on the streets.

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