With a new push to take impaired drivers off the roads, the Alcorn County Sheriff’s Department will be targeting more than just alcohol.

“When you hear ‘DUI’ you think alcohol, and that still happens more than it should, but we do see a lot more of the DUI ‘others,’” said Sheriff Ben Caldwell. “And that’s a lot harder to combat, because you could be under the influence of a drug and not show the same signs as somebody under the influence of alcohol, but still be just as impaired.”

His department was just awarded a $66,000 grant from the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety to pay overtime for deputies working DUI enforcement and to purchase equipment such as portable alcohol breath tests and drug test kits.

“It’s going to help us get more deputies out during those times where individuals are drinking and driving,” said Caldwell.

And it will also help to target drug problem areas.

“Those individuals that are out selling drugs and buying drugs, they’re also using them and driving on the roads, putting folks in danger,” he said.

The grant will also be used for enforcement of seat belt and child restraint laws.

“One of our priorities is keeping everybody safe, especially children who are supposed to be in car seats,” said Caldwell. “We’re going to be looking for children not in car seats, as well.”

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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