The Morgan County Sheriffs Office said the number of DUI arrests is on the rise. So far, this year, there have been 69 DUI arrests, compared to 2019 when there were 43 in total.
Mike Swafford, Morgan County Sheriff's Office spokesman, said they've put more deputies on the road to cut down on the number of DUIs. He said people calling to report someone driving under the influence has helped them keep more impaired drivers off the road.
“People don’t realize how much they help when they take the second to make the call because, you know, we can’t be everywhere, we can’t be on every stretch of roadway," said Swafford.
While the number of DUI arrests is going up, the number of accidents and deaths from DUIs isn't.
Swafford said the department believes stress from the coronavirus is causing more people to either drink alcohol or use drugs. Both can lead to a DUI arrest.
“We talk about alcohol a lot but prescription medication, illegal narcotics, all fall into that category where it impairs your judgment and ability to operate that vehicle," said Swafford.
He said generally, the number of DUIs increases during the holiday season. So, if you think someone may be driving under the influence, call the police.
“If you see something, say something. We’ll sort out the rest," said Swafford. "A false alarm is never going to hurt anyone, it’s when it’s real and we don’t take those steps and that’s when it costs somebody their life, there’s a major accident.”
Swafford said law enforcement is doing what they can to keep people safe, but it's up to you not getting behind the wheel when you shouldn't. They also want to remind you that if you take prescription medicine, check the warning labels to make sure you are able to drive on it.