LEXINGTON (WACH) â?? The number one crime commited in South Carolina is drinking and driving.
In 2010 the state tied for the most DUI deaths in the country, but in 2011 South Carolina saw a decline and is curently number seven for drinking and driving deaths.
In Lexington County, however, DUI crashes and arrests are going up every day. It's the county's number one crime and for law enforcment, it's a constant battle to keep drunk drivers off the streets.
"It's happening any time of the day now, we're catching them daytime, nightime, all hours," said LCpl. Brent Kelly with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Kelly says despite awareness campaigns, increased patrols and the threat of road blocks, many people still have too much to drink and end up behind the wheel.
"It's not worth taking that chance and trying to drive home and hurting yourself or hurting your passenger or hitting another vechicle and hurting an innocent family thats just traveling down the road and it happens everyday," adds Kelly.
Education is one tool troopers are using to prevent DUI's.
Kelly says law enforcment, the community and other agencies are teaming up to make people aware that just one drink can change lives.
"It should have an impact on everybody knowing there are all these people that are out there on any given day drinking and driving," said Kelly.
Getting that message out isn't always easy.
LRADAC posted a billboard showing drivers how many people have been arrested for DUI - and that number is rising daily.
"If you drink and drive in Lexington County you will be caught. There are increased resources for enforcment so that billboard really reiterates that and lets people know that yes it can happen to you," said Caroline Humphries.
Humphries is The Community Action for a Safer Tomorrow (CAST) DUI Task Force Coordinator at LRADAC. They recently receivied a grant to help law enforcment crack down on dui in the county.
The grant pays for overtime to officers, tool kits that teach bars and restaurants about overserving and billboards that make the public aware of a growing problem.
"Any alchol consumption increases the risk of a crash. It's important to keep that in mind; that it can happen to anyone. It's also possible to become the victim of a crash, which is another reason we work to decrese this problem," added Humphries.
The CAST task force also has members of the community working with public officals to make an impact in Lexington County.
"We are losing too many lives on our highways because of [DUI].," said Kelly
Friday, WACH Fox will take a look at what happens after you've been arrested for DUI and what the courts are doing to stop drinking and driving.