Mississippi highway patrol out in full force to keep roads safe - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mississippi highway patrol out in full force to keep roads safe this New Year’s Eve

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TUNICA, MS -

(WMC-TV) –It's a night to be especially responsible on the roads, because the highway patrol is watching for those breaking the law this New Year's Eve.

Long before and after the clock strikes midnight, 200 Mississippi Highway Patrolman will be out.

"It's New Years Eve and we've got a lot of people that are going to be out partying," Joey Miller of the Mississippi Highway Patrol said.

Troopers started near Tunica, looking for drivers who were already gambling before they hit the casinos.

"It's wet, a lot of people will be drinking and driving in this season and I think it's good," said Jessie Wilson, who went through the road block.

And for those who think the rain and cold will keep officers from making their stops, the highway patrol is one step ahead.

"When its windy like this it makes it difficult to smell what's going on inside the car so the first thing I do when I get the driver's license is I'll kind of lean in a little bit," Miller said. "If I don't smell anything I'll just do a random quick look for stuff that's in plain view."

Trooper Miller said alcohol related deaths were down in Mississippi this year, compared to 2011.

But he said even one is too many and it's just as much about keeping the sober safe as it is punishing the party-goers that get behind the wheel.

Late shift workers may be driving home the same time some leave the party.

"Pay attention to your surroundings and what's going on around you because the person driving next to you may not be as smart as you are, may be drinking and driving," Miller added.

The Mississippi highway patrol will staff roads with additional units through tomorrow.

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