State undergoes blitz against drunk driving - - Jackson, MS

State undergoes blitz against drunk driving

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RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

We hear the campaigns all the time but for Dewayne Morgan, he lived it, even though he wasn't expected to.

"I was coming around a curve and I looked coming at me a car on my side of the road," said Morgan.

Because of a drunk driver two years ago, Morgan's life took a sudden and drastic change.

"I came off my motorcycle and flew into the windshield of that car and I landed about a hundred feet into a lady's yard," said Morgan.

Twenty-two broken bones, a two percent chance of living, a month in intensive care and more than a million dollars in medical bills later, Morgan says he's grateful it was only his leg he lost and not his life.

"I had nine operations. Had to have my leg amputated 6 inches above my knee and they wanted to my left arm off right at my elbow," said Morgan.

It's stories like Morgan's which public safety leaders say need to stop. As part of the highway patrol's blitz against drunk driving, roadways across the state will see a surge in law enforcement for the next few weeks as the Labor Day holiday approaches.

"Our message is a simple one, drive sober or get pulled over," said Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz.

Last year, 231 people lost their lives in alcohol related crashes. While Santa Cruz says that's the fourth year in a row the state has seen a reduction in deaths, it's still too many.

"Too many lives are lost due to drunk driving, one life is unacceptable," said Santa Cruz.

Meanwhile, more than 33,000 people were arrested in Mississippi for DUI last year, an increase from the year before. MHP Colonel Donnell Berry says that's more than 33,000 chances of more deaths.

"Some drunk drivers don't get stopped until it's too late," said Berry.

Berry hopes the blitz will help put a stop to crash scenes, especially when the victims don't end up as lucky as Dewayne Morgan, who must now live with the consequences of someone else's decision.

"It didn't stop impacting me just when the wreck was over because somebody made that choice to drink and drive. It has impacted me and my family for the rest of my life," said Morgan.

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