LAWTON, Okla._With Labor Day weekend coming up in the next couple of weeks, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is cranking their ENDUI campaign back up.
It focuses on getting impaired and drunk drivers off the roads. Many holidays, like this one marking the unofficial end of summer, tend to bring out the partiers. That also can lead to an increase in wrecks. By increasing their visibility now, and through the first weekend of September, they hope to make people aware that the troopers are watching.
OHP Trooper Mitch Conley says drunk driving is a huge issue here at home. He says alcohol-related crashes happen on a weekly basis, and all of it can be prevented. He has been on the job with Troop G for the last two years and has seen his fair share of alcohol-related crashes and says it is never easy.
"It rubs you the wrong way, it's something that just breaks your heart and gives you a renewed mission to go out and do your best to reduce these things and keep it from happening to folks," Trooper Conley said.
Trooper Conley says the ENDUI campaign is an opportunity to have more officers on patrol who are on the lookout for drunk drivers. He says getting drunk drivers off the streets is his way of giving back.
"It's a good feeling, because you know you potentially saved somebody's life or his life, and that is absolutely rewarding. I don't think I could do anything else after this," Trooper Conley said.
Trooper Heath Guinn says coming into the job, he knew that ending DUIs is something he wanted to enforce. He says the end of summer is primetime for drunk driving, and he says during this time they must be on guard.
"We can't be locked up with other things, we need to be available to take care of drunk driving during this time," Trooper Guinn said.
Trooper Guinn warns if someone is pulled over for drunk driving, they will show no mercy.
"You are going to go to jail and we're going to make sure of that. We are going to make sure that you get the full ride," Trooper Guinn said.
Trooper Conley's advice to stop drinking and driving is simple, just don't do it.
"It's best not to take that risk, not because you could go to jail, but because you could crash and kill yourself or kill somebody else," Trooper Conley said.