State and local law enforcement again are ramping up traffic monitoring and conducting public safety checkpoints to help eliminate traffic fatalities during the Christmas and New Year holidays, especially those due to DUI.

The Department of Public Safety is launching the “Sober or Slammer!” enforcement blitz.

They'll also be using public service announcements to help get the message across.

One starts out with sounds of a crash, then a state trooper radios that he's en route and tells listeners, “This is Trooper David Jones with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The 911 call said a drunk driver hit a young family and that the father may be dead.

This is the toughest part of my job. Please take the keys from anyone about to make the mistake of driving after drinking. Call *HP if you suspect a drunk driver.”

During the final two weeks of last year, 50 people were killed in South Carolina as a result of 48 fatal crashes.

Drunk driving continues to be the leading cause of deadly crashes in our state.

For all of last year, 358 lives were lost because of alcohol-related traffic mishaps – a 16% increase over the previous year.