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Special to the Enquirer/Morgan County Sheriff’s Office A Morgan County Sheriff’s deputy vehicle suffers a blow in a Sept. 6, 2018, drunk driving collision.

Sheriff’s office cracks down on impaired drivers

Drivers who get behind the wheel while impaired might want to think again before doing so in Morgan County. 

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, along with other law enforcement agencies, have joined initiatives to crack down on impaired driving by participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign that began Aug. 16. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving is a deadly epidemic that takes the lives of more than 10,000 people each year on average. 

This is not just a statistic to deputies at the MCSO. “Last year, two of our deputies were severely injured when their patrol unit was hit head on by a drunk driver,” said Capt. Perry Shands. “We see and have experienced the impact this can have on those you care about.”

Deputy Caleb Brooks and Reserve Deputy Danny Kelso were injured in the wreck that happened on Highway 55 toward Massey Sept. 6. 

According to Mike Swafford, Brooks recovered from his injuries and returned to patrol. Kelso has had several surgeries and has had to use a wheelchair and crutches but has returned to work in the jail as a lieutenant. He has a couple more surgeries to go through to fully repair his foot, ankle and leg.

“Traffic safety is always a top priority for us, and impaired drivers cause needless deaths and injuries. Having a plan could save your life or the life of someone you love,” Shands added. 

In addition to DUI checkpoints and patrols, law enforcement will be watching for distracted drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled and drivers violating the “Move Over Law,” which requires motorists to use extreme caution when passing emergency vehicles stopped in or on the side of the road.

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