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DUIs expected to rise during holidays

By Staff
UNHAPPY REMINDER Lauderdale County DUI enforcement officer David Rosenbaum ties red ribbons to his patrol car. The ribbons serve as a reminder to not drink and drive this holiday season. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Nov. 20, 2001
Since Jan. 1, David Rosenbaum has arrested 255 people for driving under the influence 22 more people than were arrested in all of 2000.
The figure does not reflect DUI arrests made by other deputies, but it does show a marked increase in DUI arrests in Lauderdale County. Records indicate that from October 2000 to October 2001, the fiscal year for which the latest figures are available, deputies arrested 299 people on DUI charges.
With the holidays around the corner, law enforcement officers expect that figure to increase significantly.
A sea of ribbons
Members of MADD, "Mothers Against Drunk Driving," gathered Monday at the Lauderdale County Courthouse to begin distributing 20,000 red ribbons. The ribbons serve as reminders for people to not drink and drive.
Rosenbaum knows what drinking and driving can lead to.
The 2001 Red Ribbon campaign will end after the New Year, said Brenda Snowden, president of Lauderdale County's MADD chapter. On Dec. 7, MADD members will gather for a candlelight vigil at Union Station in downtown Meridian to remember those killed by drunk drivers.
Increase in DUI arrests
As a Lauderdale County DUI case worker, Diane Edwards has heard nearly every excuse for drinking and driving.
Edwards said she has seen a big increase in second-offense DUIs.
Capt. Tommy Miller of the Meridian Police Department said while DUI arrest figures appear to be down from last year, there is no decrease in the number of people who choose to drink and drive.
Since the unit was disbanded last year, there have been fewer officers to make arrests, he said, but the red ribbon campaign helps.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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