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Authorities Focus On Alcohol Enforcement

Yalobusha deputies (right) man a driver’s license checkpoint Friday night. Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol (MHP) troopers assisted the county in the weekend operation during which checkpoints were placed on Highway 7 and 330. A club shooting that injured five on August 17 and the upcoming holiday weekend are factors in increased alcohol and drug enforcement, according to authorities. – Photo by Jack Gurner

Yalobusha deputies check the identification of a driver whose vehicle displayed temporary Alabama tags.

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY – If you are thinking about drinking and driving over the holiday weekend, it may be a good time to reconsider.

    Actually stepped-up enforcement began last Friday night after agents with the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) made three arrests for sale of beer to minors in Yalobusha County. Enforcement continued Saturday night when deputies and troopers with the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol (MHP) set up drivers’ license checkpoints across the county.

    The aggressive  enforcement comes after a club shooting last weekend, August 17, that injured five people and coincides with MHP’s state-wide campaign which began August 15. The MHP campaign,  “Over The Limit, Under Arrest” continues through September 1 is an intense effort to crackdown on impaired driving,, according to Sgt. Leslie White, MHP spokesperson.

    “We had a dozen deputies working with six troopers at checkpoints on Hwy. 7 and 330,” Sheriff Lance Humphreys confirmed about weekend activity.

    “We are targeting anybody that is drinking and driving, and trying to detour violence at these establishments,” Humphreys added.  The alleged shooter remains on the run after the Grand Palace shooting on August 17.

    Deputies wrote more than 30 traffic citations and one DUI during the weekend, according to Humphreys.

    “You can look for increased law enforcement presence in the future,” the sheriff also said, adding that his goal was to keep Yalobushians safe while behind the wheel.

    Yalobusha Constable Randy Simmons and the Water Valley Police Department also assisted in the operation.

ABC Arrests

    Sultan Musleh-Sadel, 28, of Water Valley faces a misdemeanor charge for sale of beer to a minor at the BP station on Central Street in Water Valley, according to Mississippi State Tax Commission spokesperson, Cathy Waterberry. Karen Parsons, 52, of Bruce faces a similar charge. She was charged after allegedly selling beer to a minor at Double L Depot near Coffeeville Friday night. The third person charged, Kimberly Daniels, age 38, has a similar charge at Pit Row near Coffeeville.

    All three have a September 23 court date in Justice Court, according to Waterberry, who added that stopping underage drinking is a serious priority for ABC. Repeat offense could result in the loss of the state license to sell beer, according to Waterberry.

    “Our agency received the Law Enforcement Of The Year Award as National Convention in Nashville last week,” Waterberry said. The award came for the agency’s efforts to curb underage drinking in the state, according to Waterberry, who said that the ABC enforcement presence will continue in Yalobusha.

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