The message to not drink and drive is being spread across North Florida and the rest of the state as we head into the heart of the holidays. Law enforcement agencies across Florida are holding crackdowns to stop impaired driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds fatalities in crashes that involve one or more impaired drivers appear to increase significantly during the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday period and for thousands of families across Florida, the holiday season brings a somber reminder of the loved ones they lost to an impaired driver.
A Florida Department of Transportation press release says officers will aggressively seek impaired drivers and arrest anyone caught driving under the influence. Enforcement efforts will include sobriety checkpoints and heavy enforcement. The special enforcement crackdown will run from Wednesday through January 3, 2013.
“Lots of folks will be out during this busy holiday season, enjoying themselves and the holiday festivities, and we want everyone to be safe on our roadways said Lora Hollingsworth, chief safety officer for the Florida Department of Transportation. œThat’s why our law enforcement partners will be stepping up efforts to catch and arrest impaired drivers. If you are caught drinking and driving impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses.
There were 920 traffic fatalities in 2011 that involved alcohol or were suspected to, according to the DOT. The holiday season is a particularly dangerous time. Nationally, 30 percent of all December traffic fatalities involve alcohol-impaired drivers. It is illegal to drive in the state with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
Authorities suggest three steps people can take to stay safe and out of trouble: